A $20m upgrade and expansion project has been successfully completed at Victoria’s Port Phillip Prison hospital unit.

This move is expected to enable more prisoners to receive care on site, without having to be transferred and treated at a hospital.

Under the project, 20 additional medical beds were added to the prison.

This will double the capacity of the prison’s hospital to 40 beds, which can provide care to a total of 1,117 prisoners.

Additionally, it will continue to care for inmates who suffer from chronic and terminal illness.

The enhancements added to the unit include addition of new facilities to support dialysis, bariatric medicine, chemotherapy, rehabilitation services and end-of-life care.

The hospital is also equipped with new treatment rooms with telehealth capabilities, as well as a new ambulance bay.

Additionally, extra exercise areas were built in accommodation units to decrease the prisoner movement between units and enhance separation.

To boost safety, fire management capabilities were upgraded along with the installation of the new paving for better vehicle access.

The Community Safety Building Authority has overseen the expansion project.

Minister for Corrections Natalie Hutchins said: “This expansion will improve health outcomes for prisoners, reduce reliance on community-based hospitals and reduce the need to transport prisoners outside the prison.

“Expanded telehealth facilities, as well as the additional hospital capacity will also deliver important flexibility to operate in a COVIDSafe way.

“This expansion is a crucial part of building a stronger corrections system that helps keep communities safe now and into the future.”