The Andrews government has selected a preferred site for the new $1.5 billion Footscray Hospital near that suburb’s border with Flemington and Kensington.
The announcement, made over the weekend, means the existing Footscray Hospital between Gordon and Eleanor streets is likely to be sold off for housing after closing in 2025.
If re-elected, the state government will commence construction of a new multi-level hospital at the south-west corner of Ballarat and Geelong roads, opposite Victoria University’s Footscray Park campus.
The proposed 504-bed complex would sit adjacent to parkland overlooking the southern edge of the Flemington Racetrack and the Maribyrnong River.
The Kensington Banks housing estate is about a kilometre closer to the city from the proposed hospital.
“Building a bigger and more modern Footscray Hospital will cut waiting times and allow almost 15,000 additional more patients to be treated each year, as well as almost 20,000 additional emergency department admissions,” the government said in this statement.
“It will also allow up to 17,000 western suburb residents to be redirected from inner-city hospitals back to their local area each year, taking pressure off other hospitals and giving patients world-class care close to home, family and friends”.
If it proceeds, the new Footscray Hospital would open in 2025.
Elsewhere in the west, Western Health’s Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital is under construction in Sunshine.
The existing Footscray Hospital, built in the 1950s and later extended, offers 290 beds. Australian Medical Association Victorian president Julian Rait told the Star Weekly last month that this building “is at risk of a catastrophic failure, plagued by leaks, cracks and failing equipment”.