Bendigo Hospital building works full steam ahead

Media release from The Honourable Dr Denis Napthine, Premier Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine today joined Minister for Health David Davis and Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge at the Bendigo community cabinet for a special celebration to mark the construction of Bendigo’s new $630 million hospital.

Dr Napthine said today’s celebration was a major milestone for the most important project in Bendigo since the Gold Rush. “The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on our $630 million commitment to build a bigger and better hospital in Bendigo,” Dr Napthine said. “This is one of the largest regional healthcare projects in Australia and will deliver an outstanding facility providing the highest quality healthcare for people in Bendigo and Northern and Central Victoria.”

On 31 May, the Coalition Government gave the green light for the Exemplar Health consortium to build the new hospital. Dr Napthine said the project was progressing quickly with works to prepare the site starting immediately after contracts were signed with the Exemplar Health consortium. “We are on time and on budget for project completion by late 2016,” Dr Napthine said. “More than 180 people ranging from clinicians and health staff to design consultants are working hard behind the scenes to ensure the design of the facility meets world class standards. “For several weeks now, more than 100 Bendigo Health staff have been involved in design development. “More than 80 design consultant professionals have been developing the new hospital’s layouts and specifications. “This attention to detail to each of the hospital’s 2,938 rooms will ensure that a building of this scale and complexity comes together seamlessly. “In total, the project is expected to peak with up to 800 construction industry workers on site , as well as extensive supply chain support, including local companies.” Mr Davis said the new hospital will make Bendigo Health the leading regional integrated health service in Australia, attracting the best medical experts to work in Bendigo. “People in Bendigo will have access to the best available health services without having to travel to Melbourne,” Mr Davis said. “The new hospital will have 372 beds and 10 operating theatres, an integrated cancer centre, a mother and baby unit, a mental health unit and a helipad built on top of a new multi-storey car park,” Mr Davis said. Ms Wooldridge said the new hospital would also deliver better mental health services for the Bendigo region. “This hospital will also include 80 mental health beds, including a 35-bed adult psychiatric unit, a 20-bed aged psychiatric unit, a 20-bed secure extended care unit and a five-bed mother and baby unit.”

Historic pillars temporarily removed for safe keeping

The historic pillars at the Lucan Street entrance of the Bendigo Hospital will be carefully and temporarily removed on Saturday to allow construction access.

Executive director Bendigo Hospital Project David Walker said the temporary removal of the iconic pillars is necessary to widen the front entrance for construction access.

“We have contracted a qualified stonemason to remove the pillars and they will be placed in storage until construction works are completed at the front of this site, Mr Walker said.

“The pillars are an important part of Bendigo Health’s history and we expect they will be returned to their home at the Lucan Street entrance towards the end of 2014.

“Every effort is being made to protect heritage across Bendigo Health and we are working closely with Heritage Victoria on a number of projects to link our history with our new hospital,” Mr Walker added.

The Lucan Street entrance to the hospital will be temporarily closed while the stonemason removed the pillars on Saturday. Access to the hospital during this time will be via Arnold Street.