Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, was on hand for the official opening of the new Heyfield Ambulance facility on Saturday, August 16.
Mr Bull said the Heyfield Ambulance Auxiliary sought support and funding from the local community to build a new shed at the Heyfield branch.
“The addition to the Heyfield Ambulance Branch was largely funded by a grant from the local Bendigo Community Bank branch awarded to the Heyfield Ambulance Auxiliary.
“The total cost of the project was $92,400 with $84,000 provided by the grant from Bendigo Bank and $8,000 from Ambulance Victoria,” he said.
Mr Bull said the new facility will house the Complex Patient Ambulance Vehicle (CPAV) which provides an important service to the people of Gippsland and is integral to the operations of Ambulance Victoria.
“CPAV's are larger ambulances, purpose built to accommodate and support complex patients, and those patients unable to safely be transported in a general purpose ambulance.
“The provision of these vehicles is testimony to this Government's commitment of providing top class health services to the people of Victoria,” he said.
Mr Bull said in April this year the Government announced $73 million to renew and upgrade services at Latrobe Regional Hospital, including a new Emergency Department which will be double the capacity of the existing one, a new 30 bed ward and for the first time in Gippsland a cardiac catheterisation lab, ensuring that more Gippsland residents can have their cardiac procedures performed closer to home.
“The Coalition has also invested heavily in ambulance services.
“This investment has included two new MICA Single Responder units at Sale and Bairnsdale, as well as funding to rebuild the Maffra branch, which is expected to commence construction shortly.
“On top of this, a new $550 million contract to replace the State's fleet of helicopters has been announced. These new helicopters, one of which will be based in the Latrobe Valley are faster and can travel further, to better service the people of Gippsland,” he said.
“The Coalition has also increased funding to Ambulance Victoria by 23 percent, to a record $696 million. “This increase in funding has seen an extra 539 EFT paramedics employed across the state, with more than 70 of those commencing here in Gippsland, resulting in more than 31,000 extra shifts per year in the region,” Mr Bull said.