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Regional Health Infrastructure Fund
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Regional Health Infrastructure Fund

The $470 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund  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 Regional Health Infrastructure 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

Round 4 grant recipients announced

More regional Victorians will be able to access world-class health care with 76 new infrastructure improvement projects funded across 54 regional health services. An additional 20 Public Sector Residential Aged Care projects were also funded.

2020-21 Victorian Budget funding

This year’s State Budget includes an additional $120 million investment for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to further improve the quality of infrastructure across rural and regional health services.

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

  • construction, remodelling and refurbishment projects 
  • 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.

Public Sector Residential Aged Care - Regional Health Infrastructure Fund

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund included a $10 million allocation across 20 projects towards aged care in 2019-20. The funding supports public sector residential aged care services in Victoria to:

  • redesign models of care to cater to increasing populations and changing age profiles
  • make buildings fit for purpose
  • undertake major refurbishments, repairs and replacements of buildings
  • increase safety and quality of services.

Eligibility

Victorian rural and regional services eligible to apply included:

  • regional and subregional health services
  • local and small rural health services
  • multipurpose services
  • public residential aged care services
  • registered community health services
  • bush nursing hospitals and centres
  • aboriginal community-controlled health organisations
  • women’s health services
  • publicly funded community specialist palliative care services.

Criteria

Submissions were required to reflect agreed policy objectives and how the proposed works will meet the objectives of better health for people in rural and regional Victoria.

Submissions were required to demonstrate:

  • how the proposed changes will improve health services for people in rural and regional Victoria
  • alignment with the government's commitments and policies
  • how any risks have been identified and mitigation strategies to address these
  • an evidence base for the request, for example, incident data or trends supporting the issue.

Assessment

Submissions were assessed by a panel using a defined set of assessment criteria, including:

  • strategic alignment
  • healthcare quality and safety improvement 
  • service efficiency and demand pressures
  • project readiness including governance
  • buildability.  

Submissions were evaluated against an established set of criteria and priority was given to submissions that address:

  • demand pressures from increasing population and/or changing age profile
  • need for buildings to be fit for purpose – moving from low-care to high-care residential aged services and mitigate infrastructure risks
  • need for major refurbishment / repairs / replacement of ageing buildings and equipment
  • safety and quality of services including compliance with regulatory requirements and reduction of clinical risk.

More information

Refer to the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund Guidelines for more information.

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund and the Aged Care Regional Health Infrastructure Fund aim to achieve the following benefits:

Largest grant program of its kind

The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which includes the Public Sector Residential Aged Care Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, is the largest grant program of its kind in Victorian history.

The $470 million fund enables rural and regional public health and residential aged care 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 public health and residential aged care services across the state, so Victorians can access quality healthcare, no matter where they live. This means people can access health and residential aged care services within their own communities.

Support growing demand

Victoria is the fastest-growing state in Australia. That’s why the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund and the Public Sector Residential Aged Care Regional Health Infrastructure Fund are 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 ehealth 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 public health and residential aged care services provide opportunities for local trades and businesses to undertake project-based work.

The expansion of public health and residential aged care 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.

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

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Last updated: 09 December 2020