Latrobe Regional Hospital will receive a funding boost from the Victorian Government to expand its special care nursery.

Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, and Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, said Latrobe Regional Hospital would receive $2.62 million through the first round of the Labor Government’s new Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

The $200 million fund – the largest of its kind in Victorian history – is rebuilding rural and regional hospitals to ensure all Victorians can access the high quality care and facilities they need, no matter where they live.

The Latrobe Regional Hospital is investing to double the number of special care nursery cots to 12, boosting the hospital’s capacity to deliver neonatal care to the most vulnerable newborns.

Refurbishment includes remodelling three paediatric two-bed rooms with ensuites, another three, two-bed maternity rooms with ensuites, the nursery and ancillary areas for visitors and staff.

The investment will mean better and safer care for babies and sick children and modern facilities for staff. The extra capacity will allow more mothers to stay by their child’s side, closer to home and loved ones in Gippsland.

And in a further boost, Latrobe Regional Hospital and Gippsland patients will benefit from the Labor Government’s $5 million Victorian Telehealth Specialist Clinic Initiative.

This initiative makes it easier for more regional and rural Victorians to attend specialist doctor appointments in the comfort of their home or local health service.

By using telehealth, top specialists from major metropolitan and regional hospitals can deliver face-to-face video consultations to rural patients securely online.

Monash Health will receive $332,000 to work with Latrobe Regional Hospital, Bass Coast Health, Bairnsdale Regional Health, and Central Gippsland Health Service to boost access to telehealth consultations for paediatric specialists clinics such as cancer, orthopaedics, ear nose and throat, plastic surgery, and urology.

Ms Hennessy also met with members of the Latrobe Health Assembly to discuss work underway to improve the health and well-being of families in the Valley.

Ms Shing said, “Our boost to telehealth services in Gippsland means rural patients can quickly access the best medical advice to better manage their health, without spending a fortune on travel and accommodation.”

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