Ministers deliver world class birthing facilities
The Minister for Major Projects, Peter Batchelor, today joined expectant mother Jeni Hester on a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities being built at the Mercy Hospital for Women site in Heidelberg. Ms Hester, who is two months pregnant, is expected to be among the first women to give birth at the new hospital. The Mercy Hospital for Women is being relocated from East Melbourne to the Austin Hospital site at Heidelberg as part of the Bracks Government’s $376 million Austin Health/Mercy Hospital for Women Relocation (AR/M) project . Mr Batchelor said the project – the State’s largest ever public hospital redevelopment – brought together two of Victoria’s finest public hospitals on one site, providing an improved and expanded range of acute and specialist health services. “Victoria’s major projects are providing Victorians with access to world-class transport, research, arts and health facilities,” Mr Batchelor said. “The AR/M Project is a major component of the $10 billion worth of major projects currently being delivered across Victoria.” The Minister for Health, Bronwyn Pike, said the new Mercy Hospital for Women would have the capacity to deliver more than 6000 babies and conduct more than 6300 surgical procedures each year. “This important project will continue Victoria’s proud track record of providing world-class facilities within the public health care system,” Ms Pike said. “The two new hospitals will greatly improve health services in the north-eastern suburbs and help realise the Bracks Government’s vision of providing all Victorians with high-quality, accessible health and community services.” The Mercy Hospital for Women will continue to offer full services at its East Melbourne site right up until the move to Heidelberg in mid April 2005. The CEO of the Mercy Hospital for Women, Stuart Rowley, said that once complete, the hospital would offer women single and two-bedded accommodation only, giving patients more privacy and a quieter environment in which to recover. “Every room will have its own ensuite and baby bathing facilities and many of the rooms will also enjoy exceptional views of the Dandenongs,” Mr Rowley said.The new Mercy Hospital for Women will include:· 128 adult beds;· 13 birthing suites and 4 Family Birth Centre suites;· 62 neonatal intensive care unit cots;· 20 outpatient suites;· 10 bed acute assessment area, and;· 4 operating theatres. The new hospital will offer all those services currently provided in East Melbourne, but it will have an increased capacity to do so. New Family Birth Centre suites will mean women can have their babies delivered into the care of midwives. The Centre will be one of only three such facilities in Victoria. Families wishing to book in to the new facility at Heidelberg can do so by calling 9270 2222. For more information, people can call the Mercy Relocation Query Hotline on 1300 729 039.