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Vic Liberals pledge to transform hospital serving up-for-grabs electorates

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Victoria’s Liberal opposition is wooing voters in Melbourne’s key eastern suburban seats with the promise of a $400 million upgrade to Maroondah Hospital.

It would mean bigger staff training facilities to enable more doctors and nurses to work at the health service.

The upgrade would include big-ticket items such as a new emergency department, ICU and critical care unit, an enhanced cancer centre, extra operating suites and a bigger staff car park.

Details of the refurbishment and expansion will be worked through with the hospital’s operator Eastern Health and the local community.

The upgrade would be expected to take five years to complete.

The Ringwood East facility is one of the major hospitals servicing a large section of Melbourne’s growing outer eastern suburbs.

The hospital promise is the opposition’s 14th announcement in the lead up to the November poll.

Derailing the Loop

It previously said it would scrap part of the Suburban Rail Loop and redirect $35 billion earmarked for the project into the health system.

Exactly how much money stopping the project would save is disputed, with funding coming from a variety of sources including the Commonwealth.

“We’re going to increase the capacity here by another 100 beds, so take that up to over 420 beds,” opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier told reporters on Saturday.

“That will include capacity to improve the mental health services, intensive care, general surgical (and) general medical capacity in this hospital.”

Asked whether the Andrews Government would match the announcement, Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on behalf of the government it would not be “dictated or influenced” by the opposition.

“They are fantastic at closing things down,” she said.

“Our record speaks for itself. We’re about being positive, growing the services, supporting our hard-working nurses and paramedics.”

-AAP

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