A health campaign group has welcomed a 10-year government plan to reduce the demand on hospitals by concentrating on prevention, early detection, and community care.
Concern for Health in East Kent (Chek) says the funding injection comes at a crucial time for healthcare in the area.
And the group insists that a new hospital for Canterbury remains a priority.
Chek spokesman Alex Lister said: “It’s crazy to think that all our health needs should or could be taken care of in a hospital.
“We need to reduce the pressure on overworked A&E staff by providing proper and appropriate care in the community, but that must be supported by a state-of-the-art new hospital with specialist services, so the right level of help is available when we need it.
“Local people understand that you can’t have a major hospital on every street corner. But they are also sending a strong message to the government that it is unacceptable to make patients travel over an hour to get to an A&E in an emergency.
“The people of east Kent need a new hospital in Canterbury. Placing the stroke services at the Kent and Canterbury immediately would save 50 or more lives per year in our opinion.
“It would also significantly reduce the disabilities victims suffer as a result and greatly improve their quality of life in the future.”