MP disappointed with no new funding for West Gippsland Hospital

The existing West Gippsland Hospital in Warragul. Picture: ON FILE

By Corey Everitt

The new West Gippsland Hospital is a point of contention again in this year’s State budget with a local MP disappointed with ‘no new funding’ and questioning the schedule timeline of the hospital.

This year’s State Budget handed down last week showed the State Government were still in the planning stages of the new West Gippsland Hospital.

The cost of which is unspecified as it shares in an over funding of $115 million with three other major projects, set to be delivered by Q2 2026-27.

Narracan MP Wayne Farnham highlighted the issue expressing his displeasure at the slow progress.

“It’s incredibly disappointing that the 2024/25 state budget contains no new funding to deliver the promised West Gippsland Hospital between Drouin and Warragul,” Farnham said.

“Last year, funding was committed for planning and early works; however, with no new additional funding provided, it now appears construction will not begin this year as promised.

“Warragul and Drouin were recently named the fastest growing towns in Australia, we cannot delay the delivery of a new West Gippsland Hospital because the reality is our community needs it now.”

Farnham said he has been in contact with the State Government seeking answers for the hospital’s timeline.

“For almost 12 months I’ve been asking the Premier and Minister for Health about the timeline for delivery and how much funding had been allocated in last year’s state budget specifically for West Gippsland Hospital,” Farnham said.

“It now appears the reason they chose not to answer those questions in detail is because they know they are not going to meet their promised delivery date of 2028 for completion.

“Every day we delay beginning construction is another day my community is at risk with a substandard hospital.“

In response, the State Government hit back at Farnham saying they won’t be ‘lectured’.

“We won’t take lectures from the Liberal Party – who promised to deliver 800 hospital beds when they were last in Government, but delivered only 88,” the spokesperson said.

“We are redeveloping the hospital – it will be delivered in stages through the Hospital Infrastructure Delivery Fund to ensure construction is properly managed and sequenced as part of our broader infrastructure program.“

“The brand new hospital will deliver more beds, a bigger emergency department and more operating theatres – helping more locals get the care and treatment they need, closer to home.“

According to the State Government, the project is set for a procurement process later this year once feasibility studies are concluded in the critical planning work underway now.

The hospital is being funded through the Hospital Infrastructure Delivery Fund program which includes hospital redevelopments in Dandenong, East Melbourne and Wonthaggi.

Farnham affirmed he will remain in contact with the Premier and Minister for Health for updates on the project.