The second round of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund closed on Monday, 21 August 2017. 

About the fund

The Victorian Government has established the $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to provide people in rural and regional Victoria access to high-quality and compassionate end-of-life care, closer to home. This fund is part of a suite of reforms to improve end-of-life care.

End of life and palliative care framework

The fund will provide upgrades for rural and regional hospitals to ensure Victorians, regardless of where they live, have access to quality healthcare when they need it.

Funding will assist regional and rural health services to improve:

  • safety and quality of services
  • service capacity
  • models of care
  • patient and staff amenity
  • service efficiency.

Projects will be determined through application-based funding rounds, with rural and regional hospitals and health services and agencies able to make submissions.

How will this money be allocated?

The Department of Health and Human Services will oversee an annual grants process of $50 million per year for four years. The first round was delivered in 2016-17. The second round closed on Monday, 21 August 2017 for the 2107-18 financial year.

Who can apply?

Funding is available to Victorian 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, women’s health services and Aboriginal community controlled health organisations. In the second round eligibility has been expanded to include publicly funded community palliative care services.

What are the grants for?

Grants can be used to build new or remodel existing facilities to provide greater comfort for patients and enable doctors and nurses to deliver safer, and more efficient care. Health services can also apply to buy equipment including furniture, fittings, and medical equipment or upgrade essential infrastructure such as plant equipment, systems to reduce power and water usage and information and communications technology. In summary, the grants can be used for:

  • construction, remodelling and refurbishment projects
  • equipment including: standalone furniture, fittings, medical equipment and plant
  • information and communications technology
  • new technologies including systems to reduce usage and increase efficiencies of power and/or water.

Timeline

The second round of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund closed on Monday, 21 August 2017. 

Applicants will be notified of the outcome in early 2018.

Grants criteria

Priority will be given to applications 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
  • 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.

Assessment of applications

Applications will be assessed on how well the proposed works meet the government’s objectives of better health for people in regional and rural Victoria. Applications should demonstrate:

  • how the proposed changes will improve health services for people in rural and regional Victoria
  • alignment with the government’s commitments and policies, for example, the 10-year mental health plan
  • an evidence base for the request, for example, incident data, trends supporting the issue.

More information

Questions and queries can be directed to rhif@dhhs.vic.gov.au