The Andrews Labor Government is stepping up its campaign to protect frontline healthcare workers in Dandenong from violence and abuse.

Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced Dandenong Hospital would receive $522,481 for the reconfiguration of its emergency department and stage 1 upgrade to its electronic security system, to make it safer and more secure.

In total, 46 hospitals and mental health facilities are sharing in $8 million funding for safety upgrades.

The latest round of funding from the Health Service Violence Prevention Fund has a particular focus on rural and regional Victoria, with more than three quarters of upgrades set for regional hospitals, and nine upgrades planned for regional mental health facilities.

Types of projects being funded include GPS tracking systems to improve lone worker safety, CCTV upgrades, swipe card access for doors, car park safety zones, duress systems and personal duress alarms.

Violence should never be ‘just part of the job’ for our hard-working hospital staff. But sadly, 95 per cent will experience physical or verbal attacks while at work.

The Health Service Violence Prevention Fund is providing the equipment, infrastructure and technology that makes hospitals and mental health facilities safer for patients, visitors and the staff who work hard to protect us and save lives.

It includes new behavioural assessment rooms at 16 Victorian hospitals to better manage and assess patients who risk harming staff, other patients or themselves.

The Government is also rolling out six emergency department crisis hubs across the state, to help people with urgent mental health, alcohol and drug issues.

The Labor Government is deploying 123 full-time security guards to 30 hospitals operating across 44 hospital sites across Victoria, while our “It’s Never OK” campaign is sending a clear message that occupational violence against health care workers and paramedics is never tolerated.

The Government recently announced it would toughen statutory minimum prison sentencing laws and further limit the use of community corrections orders, so that anyone who attacks and injures an emergency worker will receive a custodial sentence.