Hospitals 27 April 2020

We’re supporting the coronavirus response in Victoria

Please note: As of 1 February 2021, the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) became the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA).

With the current coronavirus outbreak, having the essential health facilities needed to serve Victorian communities has never been more important.

The Victorian Government has invested $1.9 billion as part of the COVID-19 preparedness response, which includes:

  • additional equipment and capacity for hospitals
  • funding for EDs and ICUs
  • extra resourcing for pandemic containment activities
  • support and guidance for health services managing COVID-19 patients
  • support for workforce continuity throughout the pandemic.

What we are doing

The Victorian Health Building Authority is helping to support health services through the delivery of new and existing infrastructure projects. We’re also providing expert guidance and support on how to manage hospital infrastructure and engineering systems to support the state's response to COVID-19.

Health service guidance and expertise

We’re supporting health services with technical advice to support the COVID-19 response.

Our technical advice for health services provides critical information on increasing bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, including:

  • identifying clinical areas with physical infrastructure suitable for critically ill patients
  • managing electricity supply for health facilities
  • waste management
  • fire risk management
  • infection control
  • heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

We’ve released guidance on infrastructure activities during a pandemic. These guidelines will help health services assess infrastructure activities so as not to put hospital staff, patients or contractors at risk. The guidelines have also changed reporting requirements to enable hospital staff to focus on responding to the pandemic.

In addition, we’ve released HVAC system strategies to airborne infectious outbreaks. This document provides guidance to hospital engineers on actions that can be taken in the event of airborne infectious outbreaks in heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems installed within healthcare facilities.

Find out more via the Technical guidelines section.

Advice for the construction industry

We’ve contributed to departmental advice for the construction industry around physical distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and good hygiene practices.

Implementing some, or all, of the recommended strategies can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

For the latest industry advice visit the  Business and industry - coronavirus disease (COVID-19) page on the Department of Health website.

New infrastructure projects

Another key role we’re playing is increasing healthcare capacity through the acceleration of new infrastructure projects.

Former Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute

Our latest project will bring more hospital beds into the health system as we recommission the site of the former Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in East Melbourne.

Works are underway to re-establish services including plumbing and power, facilitate access for patients, staff and visitors and ensure the building is compliant with current safety standards.

The completed works will recommission 84 beds back into service, helping to increase capacity and ensure Victorians continue to receive the very best healthcare over coming months.

More information

Keep up to date with our latest activities by following our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels.

For the latest information and advice on coronavirus, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

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Last updated: 26 May 2020