Regional Health Infrastructure Fund
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Regional Health Infrastructure Fund

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) provides vital government funding to rural and regional health services and agencies across Victoria so these services can continue to provide safe and efficient care to local communities.

Established in 2016, the $790 million fund is the largest program of its type in Victoria and was created to improve:

  • safety and quality of services
  • enhance service capacity
  • efficient models of care
  • patient and staff amenity
  • service efficiency.

What's new

Funding round closed

The 2022-23 funding round opened on 17 June and closed on 22 July 2022.

Funding allocations are expected to be announced in late September 2022.

Full details regarding the funding round can be found in the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund – Guidelines.

 

The key objectives of the RHIF 2022-23 are to assist regional and rural health services to:

  1. mitigate infrastructure risk and to maintain patient safety, healthcare worker safety, service availability and business continuity
  2. enhance service capacity, support contemporary models of care and improve patient and staff amenity
  3. sustain and improve infrastructure assets that provide essential capacity for delivering responsive and appropriate clinical services across rural and regional public health facilities
  4. provide a stronger role for outer regional services that will allow care to be safely provided closer to where people live
  5. further incentivise health services and agencies to implement effective asset management that aligns with existing government frameworks and policies.

The capital funding will support renewal, reconfiguration and refurbishments across a range of projects and service delivery streams. This will help deliver the key state government policy objective of ensuring all Victorians can access high quality health care, no matter where they live.

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund grants are available to eligible applicants for: 

  • construction - minor infrastructure including replacement, reconfiguration, remodelling and refurbishment projects to address aged building fabric, compliance and demand issues
  • equipment - including standalone furniture, fittings, medical equipment, engineering infrastructure and plant 
  • information and communications technology 
  • new technologies - including systems to reduce usage and increase efficiencies of power and / or water
  • compliance related capital and / or upgrade works
  • motor vehicles - eligibility restricted to bush nursing centres only.

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund aims to achieve the following benefits:

Largest grant program of its kind

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund is the largest grant program of its kind in Victorian history.

The $790 million fund enables rural and regional health services to invest in modern infrastructure and equipment to continue providing safe and efficient care to local communities. 

Care closer to home

The fund supports rural and regional health services across the state, so Victorians can access high quality healthcare, no matter where they live. This means people can access health care services within their own communities.

Support growing demand

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund is helping rural and regional Victoria meet growing demand by upgrading public health and residential aged care services and providing them with high quality, modern equipment and facilities.

New or redeveloped facilities support more patients to access care locally. Modern e-health technologies enable health providers to work efficiently and to link patients in remote areas with the care they need.

Stronger local economies

Construction and upgrades of rural and regional health services provide opportunities for local trades and businesses to undertake project-based work.

The expansion of public health services can also provide ongoing employment opportunities for medical and healthcare professionals and create employment pathways for younger generations. The fund can help contribute to the economic viability of rural and regional communities and aims to improve liveability now, and into the future.

Community support

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund also supports Aboriginal community-controlled health services, women’s health services and bush nursing centres. These services support rural and regional Victorians to access holistic care in a familiar environment. They can also create thriving hubs that encourage local health professionals to work collaboratively.

The 2022-23 funding round opened at 5.00 pm on Friday 17 June and closed 5.00 pm on Friday 22 July 2022.

Funding allocations are expected to be announced in late September 2022.

A summary of information is provided below. Full details regarding the funding round can be found in the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund – Guidelines with supporting information available via Frequently asked questions.

 

What’s new for this submission process? Stream funding

A major change introduced in 2022 is the inclusion of two streams of funding:

Stream 1 – Ready for implementation

  • submission is ready to be considered for full funding
  • designs and/or specifications substantially complete
  • detailed design accompanied by a detailed cost plan
  • regulatory approvals in place
  • ready to invite market tenders for construction/delivery quotations.

Stream 2 projects – Ongoing planning or design development

  • funding provided to advance projects to the next stage of readiness (seed funding)
  • projects can be funded for planning, design refinement or further technical work, to improve the site understanding and refine the accuracies of cost estimates before formal commitment to funding is provided
  • allows for ongoing consultation with VHBA and Department representatives to gain full support for a refined proposal.

Please note: Successful applications under Stream 2 are not automatically guaranteed to receive funding in subsequent rounds. Stream 2 projects will be required to demonstrate progress and will be eligible to be submitted for continuation of funding in successive annual funding applications.

Eligibility criteria

Funding is available to Victorian regional and sub-regional and rural:

  • health services
  • multipurpose services
  • public residential aged care services
  • registered community health services
  • bush nursing hospitals and centres
  • women’s health services
  • Aboriginal community controlled health organisations
  • publicly funded community specialist palliative care services.

A list of eligible health services can be found in Appendix 1 of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund – Guidelines.

Applicants may be ineligible for consideration in this funding round where they have received funding under previous RHIF rounds and either:

  1. failed to substantially commence their project within two years of receipt of funds
  2. failed to fully comply with conditions of funding (for example, submission of progress reports, acquittals, unapproved change of scope)
  3. failed to complete their projects within approved timeframes.

Projects funded through the Victorian Government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund are administered by the Victorian Health Building Authority and delivered by the public funded health service provider.

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Last updated: 25 July 2022