A win for the west!
After years of campaigning for an overhaul of the dilapidated Footscray Hospital, the government has finally agreed to rebuild it from scratch!
This is a massive win for the west, and it just shows what we can do when the community bands together and demands action from the government.
The news was announced in May 2017 as the Victorian Government delivered its 2017/18 state budget in parliament.
Money has been set aside to start design work on the new hospital, and to explore new sites in the Footscray area.
This rebuild is well overdue, and for too long we've been forced to put up with a 1950s hospital which is quite literally falling apart.
To the thousands more who signed my Fix Footscray Hospital petition -- thank you. Residents in the inner west are finally going to get the hospital they deserve.
The Greens be working hard over the coming months to ensure that an appropriate new site is chosen for the hospital. We want to make sure the hospital stays in the Footscray area, and close to public transport so that the entire community can easily access the new facility.
What's the issue?
Everyone deserves quality healthcare, regardless of their postcode. Yet parts of Footscray Hospital have been neglected to the point that they are now derelict.
In the South Block, at least 60 beds and three wards have closed as the conditions have got so bad. In the remaining areas, whole wards of 24 people are expected to share two communal toilets, the floors are cracking from concrete cancer, the conditions are cramped and there is a complete lack of privacy.
The Emergency Department is no better. The cubicles are tiny, with little or no privacy, and there is almost no space for modern medical equipment and hygiene facilities. Wait times are also blowing out.
The time people spend in emergency waiting for transfer into ward care or to be discharged is the second worst in Australia due to the shortage of beds from ward closures and from inadequate facilities.
These poor facilities are putting people's health at risk. Nurses, doctors, support staff and paramedics do fantastic work, but there is only so much they can do.
It’s unbelievable that the Andrews Labor Government and the Liberal Government before them have let it get so bad.
What have the Greens doing about it?
We are backing up Western Health’s call for a $350 million redevelopment of the Emergency Department and inpatient precinct (including the South Block) at Footscray Hospital. The Victorian Government must begin funding the redevelopment in this year’s budget, or tens of millions of dollars will be wasted in patch up jobs that will ultimately be demolished.
We have been working hard to expose this terrible situation and to pressure the government to provide high quality health care in the inner western suburbs. We have surveyed local residents, achieved media coverage, and put the pressure on in parliament.
In the media
$50 million to kick off new Footscray Hospital (2 May 2017, Star Weekly)
Footscray Hospital receives $17 million pledge but wards ‘beyond renovation’ (10 April 2016, Herald Sun)
'Old shabby tired’ - Footscray Hospital an emergency case says community (19 Oct 2015, Maribyrnong Leader)
Footscray Hospital waiting times below standard (13 Oct 2015, Star Weekly)