The Morrison Government will invest $8.4 million to expand hospital care and dialysis services in South Australia’s rapidly growing region of Victor Harbor. Funding from the Government’s Community Health and Hospitals Program (CHHP) will deliver new services to the region that will enable a more timely transfer of patients requiring admission from the emergency department and free up limited dialysis treatment spaces. This funding will provide up to eight more beds on the ward to support patients of varying age and clinical need, such as infectious isolation, bariatric care and disability access. A new six chair renal dialysis unit will be built at the Southern Fleurieu Health Service as demand for dialysis service has reached capacity. This will increase the number of dialysis chairs in the region from four to six and reduce the waiting time for critical dialysis services. The Southern Fleurieu Health Service catchment area has one of the oldest age profiles in Australia, with population projected to increase by 20 per cent over the decade, with 28 per cent over the age of 65. Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said that the Government is committed to improving health services throughout Australia and building a world class health system. “Australians living in rural and regional areas face unique challenges brought on by distance,” Minister Hunt said. “This investment means that the Fleurieu Peninsula community will have improved access to essential health care services closer to home.” With acute care facilities being expanded, pressure will be taken off the emergency department, which has seen a 30 per cent increase in presentations since 2015. Senator for South Australia, Anne Ruston, welcomed the announcement and said, “Through locally targeted funding support, we can ensure SA is better equipped to tackle key health challenges of concern to people in the region.” “This development will enable more patients to be cared for at the hospital, closer to their home, reducing ambulance transfers to hospitals in Adelaide. It’s a fantastic outcome for communities on the Fleurieu Peninsula.” Georgina Downer, Liberal Candidate for Mayo said that the hospital upgrades had been one of her major priorities for the Fleurieu Peninsula and Mayo. “I’ve been working at Federal and State levels with ministers Greg Hunt and Stephen Wade to ensure they understand the changing health needs of rapidly growing communities on the Fleurieu Peninsula.” Established in 2018, the Morrison Government’s $1.25 billion Community Health and Hospitals Fund supports: Specialist hospital services such as cancer treatment, rural health and hospital infrastructure Drug and alcohol treatment Preventive, primary and chronic disease management Mental health The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.