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Community hospitals program

The Victorian Government is investing more than $800 million to build community hospitals in major growth areas.

Community hospitals are small public hospitals. They will provide a range of everyday health services for people who are not critically unwell. Located in growing communities across Victoria, community hospitals give people better access to many important everyday health services closer to home.

The Community hospitals program will be delivered through a combination of new developments at new sites and upgrades and expansions to existing sites.

The program will support:

With extended and after-hours services, community hospitals are small public hospitals offering a range of health services tailored for each community.

Located in growing communities across Victoria, community hospitals give people better access to many important everyday health services closer to home.

The Community hospitals program will be delivered through a combination of upgrades and expansions to existing sites and new developments at new sites.

The program will support:

The Community hospitals program will deliver the following benefits:

Better services closer to home

The Victorian Government is investing more than $800 million to develop community hospitals in major growth areas across Victoria. These facilities will provide more locally available public healthcare options and better access to important everyday health services close to home.

Services will be tailored to each community and may include urgent care services, day surgery for minor procedures, public dental and specialist appointments.

Stronger links to specialist care

Community hospitals will also help keep local communities healthy by providing links to other local healthcare providers including GPs, allied health services, specialists, social services and major hospitals if more complex care is required.

Reduce pressure on major hospitals

Community hospitals will also reduce pressure on major public hospitals and emergency departments. This will assist major hospitals to focus on critical care, complex health issues and surgeries, emergencies and trauma while our community hospitals support locals to manage their everyday health needs and access community services.

Meeting increased demand

As Victoria’s population grows and healthcare needs change, community hospitals will help meet increasing demand for public health services in major Victorian growth areas.

Once complete, the new community hospitals will have the capacity to treat at least 114,000 more urgent care patients each year. They’ll support 55,000 dialysis treatments and enable more than 100,000 additional allied health sessions each year.

These facilities will be located in Cranbourne, Craigieburn, Pakenham, Phillip Island, Point Cook, Sunbury, and the City of Whittlesea.

We value community and stakeholder input and are committed to keeping the public informed on the Community hospitals program.

We work closely with key stakeholders across the health sector and local government. We aim to deliver functional and efficient health facilities that are fit-for-purpose, inclusive and that meet community needs.

Our engagement program includes:

  • user groups
  • working groups
  • surveys
  • workshops
  • tailored engagement with identified key groups, including people with lived experience, Traditional Owners groups and culturally diverse communities.

We’ve established community consultative committees (CCC) to ensure the views and aspirations of the community are considered in the planning and design for each community hospital. Committees are made up of a diverse cross-section of community members, local service providers and organisations who provide a local perspective and considered advice on a range of issues relating to the project.

Summaries of the meetings held can be found on the Community Hospitals community consultative committee meeting summaries page.

Community consultative committees have been established to provide a forum for members of each local community to participate in the planning and development of their community hospital through open dialogue and consultation.

Each consultative committee includes:

  • foundation members from key organisations such as local councils, health service providers and Aboriginal representation where possible
  • community members selected through an independent expression of interest process and a limited number of invited community members.

The committee selection approach considered a mix of age, gender and other demographic characteristics as well as a cross-section of interests and community perspectives to ensure diverse representation on each community consultative committee.

Committee meetings

Each community consultative committee will be brought together at key points during the project’s development to ensure local views are considered.

Summaries of the meetings held can be found on the Community Hospitals community consultative committee meeting summaries page.

What is a community hospital?

Community hospitals are small public hospitals. With extended hours to provide day and after-hours services, community hospitals provide a range of everyday health services, which may include:

  • urgent care service for common minor injuries and illnesses
  • day medical services such as chemotherapy and renal dialysis
  • day surgery for procedures such as cataract removal, major dental work, gynaecological procedures, colonoscopies and other minor surgical procedures that do not require an overnight stay
  • treatment and support for chronic health issues including mental health, alcohol and other drugs, pain management, diabetes and respiratory problems
  • family services including child and maternal health, family safety and women's health
  • pathology, pharmacy and diagnostic imaging such as blood tests and x‑rays
  • public dental services.

What is the Community Hospitals Program delivering?

As Victoria's population grows and healthcare needs change, community hospitals will help meet increasing demand for public health services in major Victorian growth areas.

The community hospitals will be located in Cranbourne, Craigieburn, Pakenham, Phillip Island, Point Cook, Sunbury and the City of Whittlesea.

Community hospitals are small public hospitals, typically 1-2 storeys high. They will provide a range of everyday health services for people who are not critically unwell.

The Community Hospitals Program will be delivered through a combination of new developments at new sites and upgrades and expansions to existing sites, as follows:

Will the new community hospitals be open 24/7 and will there be overnight beds?

The new community hospitals will operate extended business hours. They will not operate 24 hours 7 days a week and it will not accommodate overnight stays. They will provide urgent care services for people experiencing non-emergency medical issues such as the bumps, cuts and bruises associated with everyday life.

Will the new community hospitals have an emergency department?

No. People will be able to attend community hospitals for minor bumps and bruises and non-emergency care. People experiencing a medical emergency should visit their nearest emergency department.

Who can access the services provided by community hospitals?

Community hospitals are accessible to all people eligible for public healthcare.

I would like to work at a community hospital. How will recruitment be managed?

Future employment opportunities / recruitment will be managed by health services closer to commissioning, as follows:

  • The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital and Craigieburn Community Hospital will be managed by Northern Health
  • The Cranbourne Community Hospital and Pakenham Community Hospital will be managed by Monash Health
  • The Point Cook Community Hospital and Sunbury Community Hospital will be managed by Western Health
  • The Phillip Island Community Hospital will be managed by Bass Coast Health.

How many community hospitals will be delivered? What will happen to the Torquay, Eltham area and Emerald Hill community hospitals?

The Community hospitals program is progressing well with Craigieburn, Cranbourne, Phillip Island and Sunbury Community Hospitals to be completed in 2024, and the City of Whittlesea, Pakenham and Point Cook Community Hospitals expected to be completed in 2025 and 2026.

With the expansion of Victoria's primary care network including Primary Priority Care Centres - and significant investments to increase capacity at major health services - the Victorian Government is now looking at how to best deliver services for the remaining communities.

Detailed service planning will examine the needs of the Emerald Hill, Eltham and Torquay communities in light of this additional care.

Local communities will continue to be kept up-to-date.

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Last updated: 13 May 2024