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Influential doc applauds Melton hospital plans — now he wants detail

The doctor who made an urgent plea for a big new hospital at Melton says today’s commitment from the Andrews government is a good start.

Now he wants detail.

Dr Marcus Watson told Ross and John in November that hospitals at Sunshine and Footscray were under-resourced and Melbourne’s west needed a new medical epicentre near Melton.

The government was clearly listening, today revealing to the Herald Sun that they plan to build a new $1 billion, 24-hour specialist hospital at Toolern Vale.

“It’s very welcome news, that’s for sure,” Dr Watson told Ross and John this morning.

“It’s a great thing for the people of Melton. That their voice has been heard is very good.

“What we’re very interested in here now is the ‘When’.”

3AW State Politics reporter James Talia went hunting for that detail.

His findings could be summarised as: The government don’t know yet because they don’t even know how big it will be or what it will look like or who will build it, they’ve just decided it’s a good idea.

Dr Watson remains upbeat.

“I’m very keen to see the ‘When’ … (but) let’s focus on the good part of it — (that the government has acknowledged) we need a big hospital, that there’s an enormous need here,” he said.

“The other big part of it is that Western (Health) will be steering it into existence; it needs to be someone experienced with dealing in big hospitals.

“It will take the pressure off Sunshine and Western Hospital (in) Footscray to do the job for all the suburbs around them.”

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