A $200 million women’s and children’s hospital will be built in Melbourne’s growing western suburbs if Labor is elected in November.
The five-storey building will allow for an extra 2000 births a year and include a children’s ward based on the design of the Royal Children’s Hospital at Parkville.
The Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be linked to the Sunshine Hospital in St Albans, creating 2000 construction jobs and 500 jobs in the hospital.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the stand-alone building would free up beds and services at Sunshine and nearby hospitals.
“It’s about the best care for patients in one of the fastest growing areas across our state,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
But Health Minister David Davis said Labor governments had a patchy history with the Sunshine Hospital, once stripping an intensive care unit out of the building.
“And do you know what these people did with it? They turned it into a film studio,” Mr Davis told AAP.
He would not commit to matching the promise, saying more announcements would be made during the campaign.
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said it was integral services kept up with growth.
“That’s why Tony Abbott’s cuts to healthcare are so dreadful for this hospital and this state,” he said.
Mr Shorten said the federal government took $55 billion from health in its budget, with $12.5 billion of that from Victoria.
He said Premier Denis Napthine had failed the leadership test because he hadn’t stood up to Mr Abbott over the cuts.
“What Victorians need is real leadership, people who’ll put the health of Victorians ahead of the politics of the same party in Canberra,” he said.
Mr Davis said Labor’s western suburbs federal MPs – including Mr Shorten – had been silent when former federal health minister Tanya Plibersek cut $6.5 million from Western Health in 2012.
Mr Andrews said 5500 babies are born at Sunshine hospital each year, but that will rise to 7500 by 2025.
The new hospital will include 237 beds, a new children’s ward with pull-out beds for mums and dads, 39 special care nursery cots, four theatres and extra clinics.
Labor promised funds would flow in the first budget, with the hospital ready by 2018.