MEMBERS STATEMENT | JOAN KIRNER WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Mr Melhem (Western Metropolitan): Last Thursday I visited the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital, along with the Premier, Daniel Andrews; the Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos; the member for St Albans, Natalie Suleyman; and my colleagues in this place Ms Stitt and Ms Vaghela. We were accompanied by the future nurses and midwives of the hospital to inspect the finishing touches being made to the $200 million project, which will open its doors in May. The west is one of the fastest growing regions in Victoria, with many young and prospective families. This hospital will make sure more local women and their families can get the world-class maternity services they need closer to home. The hospital will include 20 maternity delivery rooms, 237 beds, 39 special care nursery cots, four theatres and additional clinics. The hospital will also include a critical neonatal intensive care unit for the most critically sick babies, the first of its kind in the west. This hospital will provide never-before-seen care to people in the west and take pressure off severely overburdened existing health services providers. The Joan Kirner hospital will also be home to 150 nurses and midwifes. Thanks to the new and improved nurse-to-patient and midwife-to-patient ratios, nurses and midwives are more in demand than ever. These adopted changes will see an extra 600 nurses and midwives employed in Victorian public hospitals and will ensure they can devote more individualised time to each patient. I was proud to speak in support of the relevant legislation in this place last month. It is fair to say that the Andrews Labor government is committed to ensuring that every Victorian has access to the best healthcare services possible. Whether it be through state-of-the-art facilities or improved ratios, this government is getting things done.