Labor has promised twice as much as the coalition to build a world class, stand-alone heart hospital if it wins the Victorian election.
Both sides have committed to building a new heart hospital in Clayton, but Labor’s $150 million trumps the coalition’s $70 million promise.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said Labor’s project would be worth up to $300 million, with support from Monash University and private donors.
He said the stand-alone facility would be built at Monash University in Clayton, moving the dedicated heart unit from the Monash Medical Centre.
“That’s how we will deal with the number one killer in our community, and that is heart attack and heart disease,” Mr Andrews told reporters.
“It’s also how we’ll give the best clinicians, the best doctors in the world, as well as the best researchers, the facilities they need to save lives.”
The coalition has pledged to put $70 million towards a $120 million hospital on the grounds of the Monash Medical Centre, but Mr Andrews said moving to the nearby university would free up space for other hospital needs.
“This is such a busy place – 12,000 patients each and every year – and that number is going to grow,” Mr Andrews said.
“That’s why a mere extension to these current facilities is simply not good enough.”
Monash Heart director, Professor Ian Meredith said he was delighted there was bipartisan support for the need for a stand-alone heart hospital.
He would not comment on the difference between the two models.
“I think this option is visionary and very thoughtful,” Professor Meredith said.
He added that a streamlined heart hospital would provide state of the art care, and create capacity for more cardiac beds.
Mr Andrews said the hospital would be open by 2018 if Labor is elected.
Health Minister David Davis said Labor’s plan was uncosted and not as safe as the coalition’s plan.
“Moving the cardiac hospital completely away from the major service is more risky for patients,” Mr Davis told reporters on Sunday.
Mr Davis said the coalition’s Monash Heart Hospital plan would deliver more beds.
And the board managing Monash Health had asked specifically for the stand-alone heart hospital to be built at the Monash Medical Centre, he said.