Regional Victorians deserve better care closer to home, which is what a Liberal and Nationals Government will deliver.
Today’s announcement that the $35 billion Cheltenham to Box Hill rail line in Melbourne would be shelved means $8 billion injected into regional healthcare.
Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh, says the commitment means brand-new hospitals in Mildura, West Gippsland and Wodonga, with more announcements to come.
“There was $35 billion locked into one city project, but under a Liberal and Nationals Government $8 billion of this will be redirected to our regional hospitals to address our health crisis,” Mr Walsh says.
“One of the great things about this announcement is that under the guarantee Matthew Guy and I signed, 25 per cent of this money will go to regional hospitals.
“We need the nurses, we need the doctors, we need the health professionals as much as Melbourne.”
Healthcare professionals are stretched to the limit to deliver the services they currently do in regional Victoria.
“This is a health crisis caused not by COVID, but by the mismanagement of the Andrews Labor Government,” Mr Walsh says.
“Daniel Andrews has run Victoria’s health system as Minister or Premier for 12 of the past 16 years.
“Victorians know we’re facing a healthcare crisis, and this commitment to redirect $35 billion into fixing that crisis will mean fewer people on elective surgery waiting lists, fewer people dying while waiting for an ambulance, and fewer people dying from a lack of healthcare professionals.
“Daniel Andrews provided the lowest funding of any state in the nation to Victoria’s hospitals, elective surgery waitlists were at record levels and ambulance ramping was linked to 70 preventable deaths in 2018 alone.”
Labor had eight years to improve healthcare in our communities, yet it has chosen to slowly dismantle it with $2 billion of funding cut this year compared to 2021.
The only real solution is a change in government.
To date, Liberals and The Nationals have committed more than $1.5 billion to bring regional Victorian hospitals up to date.
“A vote for Labor and Labor-aligned Independents will see regional Victoria miss out on $8 billion in funding to fix our healthcare crisis, all for an inner-city train line from Cheltenham to Box Hill,” Mr Walsh says.
Remember this November that a Liberals and Nationals Government’s first priority will be to fix the health crisis.