New hospital pitch for Vic-NSW border city

·2-min read

A Victorian-NSW border community is being pitched a new hospital, as regional areas face widespread health staff shortages.

Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has promised a coalition win at the state election in November would lead to $300 million towards a new Albury-Wodonga hospital.

Paramedics, nurses and doctors who attended a forum in Wodonga in April cited the quality of existing facilities as the "biggest hindrance" to carrying out their jobs, Mr Guy said.

"They need a new hospital, on a new location; a teaching facility," he told reporters in Wodonga on Monday.

Albury-Wodonga Health currently operates on a unique shared funding model between the Victorian and NSW governments, under the control of Victoria's health department.

In line with the partnership, the opposition wants the NSW and Commonwealth governments to stump up the other two thirds of the funding.

"We need someone to get the ball rolling," Mr Guy said.

The opposition has previously pledged to build new hospitals in Mildura and Warragul, a $400 million infectious diseases response centre and for construction of the Melton Hospital to begin within 12 months of an election win.

Without a master plan for the Albury-Wodonga project, Mr Guy said the $900 million costing was partly based on the price tag for Wagga Wagga's new hospital in regional NSW.

"We believe that is enough. If more is needed though, we're not going to skimp," he said.

Asked if Labor would build a new hospital for the northeast border, Premier Daniel Andrews said his government had invested in about 400 regional health infrastructure initiatives since coming to power in 2014.

"There are some people, who come election time, they run around making all sorts of promises, but their record really tells the story," he said in Melbourne.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, in Albury on Monday to announce a $400 million elective surgery boost, said he was concerned about doctor shortages in regional areas.

"It's a national issue. In fact, it's bigger than national - it's worldwide," Mr Hazzard said.

The federal government has been contacted for comment.

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