Better healthcare and support

Below are handy summaries of some of the Allan Labor Government’s health programs and projects in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs and across Victoria.

You can click on the policy headings for more information.

If you have questions about any of these projects, please get in touch on 03 9887 0255 and

Better care through local pharmacies

The Department of Health commenced a 12-month statewide pilot in October 2023 to test an expanded role for community pharmacists.

During the pilot, participating and appropriately trained community pharmacists are able to provide certain Schedule 4 medications under a structured prescribing model for:

  • treatment of shingles
  • treatment of flare-up of mild plaque psoriasis
  • resupply of select oral contraceptive pills without a prescription for women
  • antibiotics for uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

Following the completion of additional training, pharmacist immunisers participating in the pilot will also be authorised to administer select travel and public health vaccines.

The pilot aims to increase access to affordable primary health care, ensuring Victorians can get the healthcare they need quickly and locally. Like all Department of Health programs, safety and quality care will be prioritised throughout both the design and implementation process.

Inquiry into Women’s Pain

The Inquiry into Women’s Pain will provide recommendations to inform improved models of care and service delivery for Victorian girls and women experiencing pain in the future.

Women face real and enduring challenges when seeking care and support for pain.

Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of girls and women than men around the world; however, women are less likely to receive treatment. Research has also shown that women generally experience more recurrent pain, more severe pain, and longer-lasting pain than men.

Medical gender bias routinely leads to a denial of pain and therefore, lack of pain relief and associated treatment for women. This occurs for various health conditions, including cardiovascular, neurological, reproductive, and autoimmune conditions.

As part of the Women’s Health and Wellbeing Program, the Inquiry into Women’s Pain aims to address the challenges faced by girls and women seeking pain care. The Inquiry will provide recommendations to inform improved models of care and service delivery for Victorian girls and women experiencing pain in the future.

We will consult broadly through:

  1. Written submissions from consumers, clinicians, and health service organisations from 30 January to 31 July 2024.
  2. Engage Victoria survey from 25 March to 31 July 2024 hear from those with lived experience of pain, and healthcare workers who provide pain services, care and treatment.
  3. Focus groups in mid-2024 with healthcare workers, people with lived and living experience of pain, and key stakeholders.

We know people like to participate in different ways, so you can choose an option that suits you. All information gathered during the consultation will inform the Inquiry’s recommendations.

Get involved

The Inquiry into Women’s Pain is asking Victorian girls and women to share their experiences of pain and pain management.

You can participate by making a written submission or completing a survey. Survey and submissions close 31 July 2024.

Make a submission

Complete the survey

Free nursing and midwifery study

Find out about the free nursing and midwifery initiatives, which include degrees and postgraduate study.

To help us build a stronger workforce we’re offering scholarships and support to train and upskill the next generation of nurses and midwives.

These new initiatives are designed to support the recruitment and training of 17,000 nurses and midwives who will help respond to current healthcare demands and increase future capacity.

These initiatives will increase support across the workforce to build and retain a supply of nurses and midwives so Victorians can access high-quality healthcare when and where they need it.

Planning underway for an upgraded Maroondah Hospital

The new hospital in Ringwood East will improve access to world-class healthcare for Melbourne’s outer east communities.

The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital is one of the seven key projects delivered through the Hospital Infrastructure Delivery Fund.

The Victorian Government established the fund through a $320 million investment in the 2023-2024 Victorian Budget.

The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital is a complete redevelopment and expansion of the existing Maroondah Hospital. The renaming is in honour of the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The hospital will help meet increased demand from growing outer east communities. This includes through delivering:

  • a new emergency department
  • a dedicated kid’s emergency department
  • a new mental health hub
  • operating theatres
  • day procedure facilities
  • specialist care spaces
  • expanded medical imaging unit
  • two six-storey inpatient towers
  • more than 200 extra beds.

Once complete, the hospital will be able to treat an extra 9,000 in-patients each year. The redevelopment and expansion will also provide more modern and comfortable spaces for patients and staff.

Priority Primary Care Centres

Priority Primary Care Centres (PPCCs) provide GP-led care to people who need urgent care, but not an emergency response. Each PPCC is partnered with a busy emergency department.

PPCCs see people with low acuity conditions such as fractures, burns and mild infections.

The centres are open after hours (up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week), and have diagnostics on site or nearby.

PPCCs are being delivered in partnership with the six Victorian Primary Health Networks (PHNs). This includes collaboration on clinical resources to support high quality, safe and consistent services and communication resources to promote the new services to the Victorian community.

Find your local Priority Primary Care Centre

Austin Hospital Emergency Department Expansion Project

The $275 million investment at the Austin will add up to 29 extra emergency treatment spaces.

This boosted capacity means more patients can be treated faster. The hospital will support an extra 30,000 emergency patients every year. This will help ensure the hospital can meet the needs of the growing local population.