People living in the Ballarat region will soon enjoy top-quality, affordable health care closer to home now work has begun on an $13.4 million community health centre, Catherine King said today.
Member for Ballarat Catherine King, turned the first sod for construction of the purpose-built centre at the site in Ballarat’s new suburb of Lucas.
“This centre will bring together under one roof the many services offered by Ballarat Community Health (BCH), which will operate the services out of the new building,” Ms King said.
“The Gillard Government was delighted to fund BCH $11.6 million for this project, with an additional $1.8 million coming from BCH for the purchase of the land.
“This is going to mean a new era of health care for people living in the Ballarat region, with more and better services available where and when they are needed—a major focus of this Government’s health reform agenda.”
“Once this new centre is up and running from late 2014, it will mean BCH can keep providing ever-improving outreach services across the Ballarat region.
“BCH offers a wide variety of services that aim to boost and promote community health.
“As well as GP consultation, its services include alcohol and drug support, mental health services, counselling, podiatry, exercise and fitness, physiotherapy, sexual health, liver clinic, youth housing and other youth services.
“It’s going to be so much easier for local people to have all of this available in the one place.”
The Australian Government provided the funding under round three of the $5 billion Health and Hospitals Fund regional priority round.
Other projects in the region being funded include:
• $8.3 million to the Victorian Department of Health for the relocation and expansion of the Ballarat Health Service Dental Clinic.
• $2.6 million to La Trobe University for new residential accommodation for university students on short-term clinical placements at Ballarat Health Services.
• $1.7 million to Ballarat District Nursing and Healthcare for the extension and refurbishment of the existing Ballarat District Nursing and Health Care building.
• $42 million for the construction of the Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre.
The Australian Government is striving to improve access to essential health services around the country, and to reduce the gap between health service availability in cities and the regions.