Beds will be funded: Minister

June 28, 2017

Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has received confirmation from Health Minister Jill Hennessy that the current number of paediatric beds will be retained at Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton.

The Health Minister has said in Victorian Parliament the redeveloped Goulburn Valley Health would not see a reduction in beds in the paediatrics ward.

A report earlier this month from The News confirmed there was uncertainty from the Department of Health about the future number of beds.

Currently the hospital has budgeted for 12 paediatric beds, but there was only guaranteed funding for eight beyond 2020 when the redevelopment was due to be finished.

Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed asked Health Minister Jill Hennessy in Question Time on Wednesday just how many beds would be funded in the redeveloped hospital.

‘‘I confirm for the member that there will be at least 12 dedicated paediatric beds and, on top of that, dedicated space in the emergency department for paediatric treatment,’’ Ms Hennessy said in parliament.

The response from the minister, which confirmed there would be no reduction in bed numbers, was reassuring for GV Health chief executive officer Trevor Saunders.

‘‘We now eagerly await the Department of Health funding arrangements for the additional beds,’’ Mr Saunders said.

Speaking to The News last week, Ms Sheed also wanted to see the details about the now guaranteed 12 paediatric beds.

‘‘I was happy enough with the answer, but we are keen to see what that looks like in the design,’’ Ms Sheed said.

She said the minister had offered to allow her to meet with the department to get more detail and have discussions.

‘‘I think this provides reassurance that there will be significant beds when they are needed, but I’ll be keen to see what it looks like in the design,’’ Ms Sheed said.

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