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New hospital for West a step closer

A new 24-hour hospital in Melbourne’s west is a step closer after the Victorian government revealed one of the state’s largest public health service providers will run the facility.

Western Health will operate the Melton hospital and integrate it into existing health services in the western suburbs, including the Sunshine and Footscray hospitals.

The state government had made a $2.4 million election commitment in 2018 for a business case, but it stopped short of fully funding the hospital and has not revealed when construction will begin.

The tender for the business case has gone out to a shortlist of six consultants, who will carry out the planning and design work and find the best site for the new hospital, which is likely to be in Toolern, on the outskirts of Melton.

Melton’s population is expected to swell from about 164,000 to 200,000 over the next five years. By 2031, the population is projected to surpass 250,000 and grow steadily to more than 400,000 in the next 30 years.

Melton Council mayor Lara Carli welcomed the news and said they were working with the state government to acquire land.

"A hospital in Melton will transform everyday life and health outcomes for our residents. It will provide access to the healthcare our residents need, and it will also create local jobs," Cr Carli said.