A PUBLIC rally will be held in Rosebud next week to renew calls for the “urgent” redevelopment of the aging Rosebud Hospital.
One of the organisers, long time hospital advocate since retiring at Rye, Sue Gilbert, said the redevelopment had become a “critical” issue for the southern peninsula, and there were fears the hospital could be forced to close if it deteriorated further.
“If that happens, all the people and tourists that use the hospital will put extra pressure on Frankston, which just won’t be able to cope,” she said.
“With the population increase on the peninsula and the summer crowds, the Rosebud Hospital is an essential service.”
Gilbert said hospital staff worked under increasingly difficult conditions.
In 2022, former Liberal candidate Matthew Guy promised $340 million for the hospital upgrades if the Coalition won government, but since Labor’s win little has happened.
The hospital’s main buildings have not been redeveloped or expanded in nearly three decades and not all facilities meet current Australian standards.
Committee for Frankston and Mornington Peninsula CEO Josh Sinclair said it was clear the hospital desperately needed upgrades. He said Peninsula Health was likely to join the committee this year and he would start discussions with its CEO.
“It’s a priority for us and them,” he said. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has also been pushing for the upgrades.
The mayor Cr Simon Brooks said the peninsula’s population had grown significantly and now had one of the largest populations of older residents in Victoria, plus 7.5 million visitors a year. He said the minimum 45 minutes to travel to Frankston Hospital for acute and emergency care put people’s lives at risk.
“Our community often has to travel all the way to Melbourne for specialist care,” he said.
“Rosebud Hospital is highly valued by our community. It was the community that originally funded the hospital’s maternity ward, which was closed due to lack of anaesthetists available for surgery when needed. “
Nepean MP Sam Groth said he had tabled a 2500 signature petition in state parliament and was “100 per cent” behind the redevelopment.
“I have asked the Labor Health Minister to commit funding and am pushing it in parliament,” he said.
A Victorian Government spokesperson said the government was working with all hospitals, including Peninsula Health’s Rosebud Hospital, to ensure they have the facilities required to continue providing lifesaving care to their communities.
“As part of our record health investments, we’ve funded Peninsula Health more than $4 million for a range of refurbishment works and upgrades since 2015,” 0he said.
“We are also ensuring people in Melbourne’s south east and Mornington Peninsula have world class healthcare closer to home with our major $1.1 billion redevelopment of Frankston Hospital.”
Concerned residents can join the rally, which will be on Wednesday 24 January, at the eastern side entrance of the hospital, 1496 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud, from 10am to 2pm.