Central Highlands Rural Health will receive $4.5 million to upgrade the Daylesford Hospital operating theatre so more locals can get surgeries they need closer to home. This guarantees a future role for the Daylesford Hospital.

Local state member of parliament, Mary-Anne Thomas said, “Everyone deserves access to quality health care facilities and services – we’re ensuring the Hepburn community has an upgraded operating theatre at the Daylesford Hospital.”

The Victorian Government has unveiled funding of more than $100 million for hospital upgrades across the state.

Nearly 80 rural and regional hospitals, community health services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations will share in $120 million from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund – creating hundreds of jobs.

The theatre refurbishment for Daylesford is part of this program. Across the state the program includes new waiting rooms, hospital beds, accessible paths and ramps, additional consulting rooms, expansions, projects and equipment upgrades.

“We welcome the State Government announcement and see this as an important first step in the upgrade of the Daylesford Hospital to develop the languishing buildings and facilities,” said Hepburn Mayor, Cr Lesley Hewitt.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Daylesford community, the master plan will be completed early next year.  Representatives of the Upgrade Committee met with Mary-Anne Thomas, our local member this morning and were pleased to hear her acknowledgement of the importance of the hospital to the community. We will continue to update her on the proposed upgrade and seek her ongoing support for this’.

In Daylesford, the $4.5 million grant will help upgrade theatres and sterilizing areas.

It is expected that refurbishments in Daylesford will be part of the master planning process for the longer term future of the hospital.

“We know there is a lot to be done in Daylesford and this funding is a positive first step in our long-term goal to ensure Daylesford Hospital delivers contemporary, safe, high quality and sustainable health care for its local community,” said Maree Cuddihy, CEO of Central Highlands Rural Health.

The Daylesford funding coincides with a community campaign to upgrade Daylesford Hospital. More than $100,000 has been raised from the local community to undertake the preparation of a master plan to address the deteriorating facilities that no longer meet contemporary standards or community expectations of health services.

These projects build on the more 380 projects the RHIF has made possible since it was created in 2016. Projects include the $9.7 million Healthy Community Access Hub in Kyneton, a $6 million Aboriginal Co-operative Medical and Regional Health Hub in Ballarat and a $4 million Integrated Health Centre in Yarram.

With this latest round of RHIF projects the Government has now invested $490 million in regional healthcare projects across the state – the largest program of its type in Victoria. More information about projects funded by the RHIF can be found at vhba.vic.gov.au/health/regional-facilities/regional-health-infrastructure-fund.