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Eye and Ear redevelopment given green light

November 22, 2012

Eye and Ear redevelopment given green light Board of Directors Chair, Jan Boxall greets Premier Ted Baillieu with Health Minister David Davis and CEO Ann Clark today at the Eye and Ear.
Plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital  have been given the go-ahead, after Premier Ted Baillieu announced today the Victorian Government will fully fund the project.

Visiting the hospital today with Health Minister David Davis, Mr Baillieu noted the funding will assist the Eye and Ear in meeting demand for elective and emergency ophthalmic and ENT-related surgery.

“The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital delivers more than half of Victoria's public general eye surgery and 90 per cent of our specialist eye surgery, Mr Baillieu said.

“It's the biggest provider of Ear, Nose and Throat services, including all of Victoria’s public cochlear implants.

View Ten News coverage of the Premier's announcement >>

Eye and Ear CEO Ann Clark said the funding has come at a critical time for the hospital, which is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

“For almost 150 years the Eye and Ear has restored vision and hearing to Victorians and patients around the country. The funding allows us to complete the changes necessary to build upon our strong past performance and carry us well into the 21st Century. This includes ensuring we remain at the forefront of eye and ear clinical practice, research and teaching.

“Our patients are at the centre of everything we do and we will ensure that the construction process is undertaken with minimal disruption, said Ms Clark.

Redevelopment planning will continue and the tender process will commence immediately, with work expected to be completed in 2017.

The changes will include structural upgrades to improve the hospital's layout, enabling user-friendly access for current patients and staff and allowing for additional 7,000 patients to be treated each year.
Mr Davis said the project will involve the demolition of existing buildings between the two 10-storey tower blocks to allow construction of a connecting link building with five fully-integrated floors.

Clinical services will be consolidated on lower levels and provide major improvements in emergency, operating theatre, medical imaging and specialist clinics. It will also provide inpatient beds and new same-day recovery areas.

The hospital currently provides services to more than 250,000 patients each year.