Adjournment: Northern Hospital

Ms Spence (Yuroke): My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health, and the action I seek is for the minister to provide me with an update on the delivery of the new children’s emergency department at the Northern Hospital. Prior to the last election, Yuroke residents warmly welcomed the Andrews Labor government’s commitment to invest $62.4┬ámillion to expand children’s emergency departments at five hospitals around the state, including the Northern Hospital. As my electorate continues to grow, it is becoming home to many more families with young children. The emergency department at the Northern is where these families head to when their kids suddenly fall sick or are injured, and this can often be very daunting. I am one of those parents that has made many trips to the Northern with my son, be it for illness or injuries, and it always comes with much anxiety. This investment in the dedicated children’s emergency department will ensure that young patients and their families can have access to dedicated staff and tailored care so that their experience is as stress-free as it can be. I look forward to receiving an update from the minister and sharing it with my community.

Response:

I am informed that:

There’s nothing quite as scary as when a child is sick or injured and there’s nothing more reassuring than knowing they’re in the best hands. That’s why the Andrews Labor Government is getting on with delivering dedicated children’s emergency department space at Geelong, Northern, Casey, Frankston, and Maroondah hospitals – giving local families confidence that the very best care is just around the corner.

Emergency departments can be confronting environments for children and their families, with traumatic events and situations that have the potential to impact their patient experience. Providing sufficient separation between adults and paediatric patients, children and young people will reduce exposure to potential or actual situations of physical and emotional trauma.

Under the proposed initiative, age appropriate waiting areas and treatment spaces will be created for children and young people and their families, whilst ensuring that they continue to have ready access to all investigative, diagnostic, support services and major specialties required.

The planning funding provided over two years in the 2019/20 Victorian Budget will ensure that construction at the nominated sites can be undertaken in the most robust and efficient manner. The planning for a paediatric zone in the emergency department at the Northern Hospital is expected to commence in July 2019, with service and capital planning occurring over 2019 and 2020.

As is customary for such projects, hospital staff and patients will be consulted during the planning phases. The project will be managed by the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority.

This builds on our $3.2 billion investment in health infrastructure during our first term, which included Stage 2 of the Northern Hospital expansion, where I understand early works are complete.

I thank the member for her continued support for the Northern Hospital.

Jenny Mikakos MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Ambulance Services