THE Committee for Greater Shepparton is calling on the government to fund stage 2 of the GV Health re-development, following the release of an independent assessment commissioned by the committee.
The assessment documents the full stage 2 investment, including mental health and cancer facilities, which it shows is likely to cost between $272M and $374M. This is on top of the $171M allocated to stage 1 by the Andrews Government in 2016.
Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO, Sam Birrell said, “GV Health’s buildings are at the end of their life-cycle.
“As positive as the stage 1 funding has been, a commitment to stage 2 is now critical to complete the redevelopment. Comparative analysis of current regional hospital asset values shows that of all major centres, Greater Shepparton has one of the oldest and run-down hospitals in the state. It is time for a new one.
“Stage 1 is being built and that is fantastic, but we can’t wait around for five or so years with half a hospital, it doesn’t serve the people and it will cost taxpayers more in the long run.
“GV Health has a large catchment of people who deserve adequate health care. They are not getting the health care they deserve due to the lack of infrastructure.
“The Fair Value of Assets table as part of the assessment carried out shows what the hospital would be valued at today (GV Health – $98,928,000) and reflects recent significant investments in other regional hospitals including the Bendigo Hospital which is valued at $946,801,000. The Shepparton hospital is old and no longer fit for purpose, hence its low asset value. It’s time to build a new one.”
Local resident, Monica Harvey was diagnosed with breast cancer just over 12 months ago and was forced to drive to Bendigo to undergo radiotherapy treatment due to the lack of facilities in Shepparton.
Monica said, “Being a mother of two young children, I was astounded that a town the size of Shepparton had no facilities for radiation therapy.
“I was expected to travel to Bendigo daily (for 20 minutes of treatment) or stay in accommodation and be away from my family during this stressful time. The side effects of radiotherapy include fatigue, amongst others, so it was a safety risk for me to make this 2 way trip on a daily basis.
“To go to Bendigo and see their facilities there you just think, why can’t we have that here?”