Western suburbs gets first of its kind neonatal intensive care unit


Melbourne: First time parents and their babies will now have access to a crucial Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the western suburbs when they need it at the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos on Thursday opened the cutting-edge NICU – the first of its kind in the western suburbs and a key feature of the $200 million flagship hospital built by the Andrews Labor Government.

The NICU is where critically sick newborns are cared for at the start of their lives, with life-saving support for premature and sick babies. Specialist doctors and nurses provide the very best care in a calm, welcoming and family-friendly environment.

Previously, families with sick or premature babies in the western suburbs were transferred to either the Royal Women’s Hospital or the Royal Children’s Hospital to get the urgent care they need. Now, they can get that care closer to home.

The Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s NICU will feature four cots – which will grow to 10 in the future. It’s the fifth NICU in Victoria.

The hospital opened its doors earlier this year, and features world-class maternity and paediatric services that mean more mums can give birth and access specialist services closer to home. It’s estimated about 7,000 babies will be delivered annually at the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital by 2026.

The Labor Government is rolling out an unprecedented $3.8 billion pipeline of hospital projects to cater for a growing state, including the fully-funded $1.5 billion Footscray Hospital and a $29.6 million redevelopment of Sunshine Hospital.

(Media release)