MENTAL health services in Albury-Wodonga will be significantly boosted with a federal government funding commitment to be confirmed in next week's budget.
A $12 million mental health rehabilitation unit to be established at Wodonga hospital will be announced by Victorian Liberal Senator Jane Hume on Thursday and won't be contingent on the Morrison government being re-elected in May.
A further $2.5 million will be spent on a "suite of specialist clinics" also in Wodonga in what represents the biggest federal government health infrastructure spend in Albury-Wodonga since confirmation of $65 million for the cancer centre in 2011.
The Wodonga-based "sub acute" mental health service will ultimately complement a long-awaited upgrade of Nolan House on the Albury hospital site.
An even larger amount of money is being sought from the NSW government to complete an overhaul of how mental health services are delivered for a population catchment of more than 250,000 people.
"The project will deliver inpatient, residential mental health rehabilitation programs to support transition from acute inpatient care to the community and or provide an alternative to acute emergency department presentation and or admission to an acute inpatient unit," Senator Hume said.
"This will be a new delivery of care for this region."
The specialist clinics secure the hospital's future.
"The project will deliver an expanded range of shared consulting clinical suites delivering specialties including diabetes, respiratory medicine, cardiology, renal, general medicine, geriatric medicine, palliative medicine, obstetrics regional consultation, anaesthetics pre-surgery review, community paediatric medicine and pain management," Senator Hume said.
"This is a show of faith in the local Albury-Wodonga community, and the existing Wodonga hospital site."
The Nolan House upgrade in Albury has been estimated to cost up to $30 million.
The NSW government went on a spending spree in the Albury electorate in the lead-up to last weekend's state election, but to date there has been no funding announcement specific to Nolan House.
Senator Hume will be representing federal health minister Greg Hunt at the funding announcement in Wodonga and she will be joined by Farrer MP and former health minister Sussan Ley and Liberal Indi candidate Steve Martin.
The latest funding has come from a $1.25 billion community health and hospitals program which provide funding specifically for specialist hospital services such as cancer treatment, rural health and hospital infrastructure, drug and alcohol treatment, preventive, primary and chronic disease management and mental health.
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