H marks the spot for air ambulances in central Victoria as Bendigo Health unveiled its new helipad on Wednesday.
From July, critically ill or injured patients from the region will be able to be airlifted to Bendigo rather than enduring a longer flight to Melbourne.
The trip from the helipad is 200 metres across the new airbridge and down the elevators to the emergency wards and operating theatres.
Bendigo Health chairman Bob Cameron said the helipad is something Bendigo hospital has campaigned for a long time.
“Currently helicopters have to land at the (Bendigo) airport where patients are transported to the hospital,” Mr Cameron said.
“Too often for critically-injured people, it's easier for Ambulance Victoria to fly straight to Melbourne. That won't have to occur any more.
“As Bendigo has matured as a city, it has become more important to have a hospital to cater to the population of central and northern Victoria.”
The helipad is part of stage two of the Bendigo Hospital Project which is expected to be completed by June 27.
Mr Cameron said Ambulance Victoria are expected to test the helipad from early June.
The test are to help find issues that need to be ironed out before Ambulance Victoria start delivering patients that are critically ill to Bendigo.
“It is very exciting to be six weeks away from completion,” Mr Cameron said.
“The second stage was a car park and helipad. This project is about making sure we can deliver services well.”
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the helipad and car park were important additions to the hospital precinct.
“The helipad’s construction will give people from Bendigo and across the region quicker access to emergency health care,” she said.
“As we know in health, every minute can save lives and that's why having a helipad is critically important.
“Also important is the construction of 505 car park spaces, they will be very welcome by the local community.”
Ms Allan said the completion of the two-stage Bendigo Hospital Project would be the end of a long journey.
“Such a critical part of this project demonstrates why pushing for this project was so important,” she said.
“This has been a very long journey, one that started 12 to 14 years ago.
“We pushed hard to get planning funding, capital funding and the components that we needed, including a helipad, to provide top quality care.”