PM to outline Victorian health package

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce almost half-a-billion dollars for health in Victoria.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce almost half-a-billion dollars for health in Victoria.

A new national cancer treatment centre is to be based in Melbourne, providing access to treatments previously only offered overseas.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be in Melbourne on Monday to announce $496 million funding for treatment, hospital infrastructure, mental health services and medical research.

An injection of $80 million will help create a national cancer treatment centre at Peter Mac.

"This investment will be life-changing for so many of our sickest Australians, including many children battling cancer," Mr Morrison said.

It would also ensure the Victorian capital's position as a global leader in health and medical research.

Peter Mac will invest $25 million to create the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy.

The centre will provide CAR T-cell therapy, helping the body's own immune system to fight cancer and has the potential to cure certain types of cancer.

The therapy involves removing immune system cells, re-engineering them in a lab and reinserting them back into the body to attack and kill the cancer cells.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said it would put Melbourne at the global forefront of cancer research.

The government also plans to put $30 million into St Vincent Hospital's Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery - Australia's first hospital-based biomedical engineering research and training hub.

Three Victoria hospitals - in Rosebud, Casey and Bendigo - will partner with the Australian Clinical Trials Network's TrialHub, to provide cancer and rare disease services in regional areas.

As well, the federal budget will include funding for drug discovery, paediatric emergency departments, community health and MRI licences in Victoria.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down the budget on April 2.

Australian Associated Press