New hospital on horizon

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Vision of future: Designs show the outline of a vast expansion plan for Frankston Hospital to include a health and education hub in partnership with Monash University. Pics: Supplied

AN AMBITIOUS vision of the future of health and education in the Frankston region has been unveiled under a plan to base a health and education hub at a rebuilt Frankston Hospital in partnership with Monash University.

Peninsula Health announced at its annual general meeting last Wednesday (29 November) plans for a $250 million rebuild of Frankston Hospital to include 115 more beds by mid-2021 and a $15 million clinical research and education centre at the new hospital.

Monash University will commit up to $50 million to the hospital rebuild in a partnership estimated to bring 1000 jobs to Frankston during construction of the new buildings and 500 full-time health, research and education jobs after completion.

Any research centre will focus on ageing and chronic diseases and action to stop family violence and addiction.

Peninsula Health acting CEO David Anderson said the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula will benefit from an expanded hospital at Frankston.

“The plans detail our vision for Frankston Hospital, and the longer-term vision for a future health and education precinct with Monash University,” Mr Anderson said.

Three new wards at Frankston Hospital and a new emergency department costing $81 million were finished in early 2015.

While the new wards and emergency department were a welcome upgrade to the hospital, it has also highlighted problems with ageing infrastructure in the main hospital buildings.

“As our population grows, it is vital we grow with it,” Peninsula Health chief operation officer Brendon Gardner said.

“In order to continue to deliver world-class healthcare to the local community, we need the facilities to match the expertise of our doctors and nurses.

“The health and education precinct will help us attract the best and brightest minds to Frankston, so we can meet new health challenges in the coming decades head-on.”

Any redevelopment of Frankston Hospital will be dependent on federal and state government funding, whichever major party wins government at imminent federal and state elections.

Monash University Peninsula campus pro-vice chancellor Professor David Copolov said the university “is excited” to be able to pitch in to build on existing partnerships with Peninsula Health.

“We look forward to partnering with the hospital to expand our teaching and research activities in Frankston,” Professor Copolov said.

First published in the Frankston Times – 4 December 2017

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