MAROONDAH Hospital's diabetes education centre could remain open after an 11th-hour funding boost from the federal government.
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek visited the hospital on Thursday to announce a $8.4 million one-off cash grant, which will be paid directly to the hospital and not through the state government.
However, Eastern Health would not answer questions from the Weekly as to how the money would be allocated, nor would it confirm that the diabetes centre would now stay open.
"We need time to process this latest development," said Eastern Health chief executive Alan Lilly in a written statement.
"This is an unprecedented situation for our organisation."
Mr Lilly also would not say whether hospital beds will reopen. "We will review the changes that have been made and assess how to move forward in the best interests of our staff and the community."
Earlier last week, Eastern Health had announced it would be forced to close its diabetes education centre, to the disappointment and frustration of its 112 clients and neighbouring services that would be forced to shoulder the extra burden. Clients were being referred to hospitals in Ringwood, Ferntree Gully and Lilydale.
The $8.4 million boost is part of a $107 million federal government funding commitment announced for Victorian hospitals last week. It comes after the state government slashed $475 million from the health budget over four years.
Ms Plibersek said the federal government was "tired of the blame game" in health funding and was moving towards a more transparent system where people could clearly see how much money both levels of government were contributing.
"In the future, funding will be tied directly to the hospitals," she said.
Anyone with concerns is urged to contact Diabetes Australia (9654 8777), which will provide details of additional diabetes services available in the client's local area.