Ex­tra hospi­tal fund­ing

Flu fund­ing boost barely touches the sides for lo­cal hospi­tal needs

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAR­RAH LOH jloh@ne­me­dia.com.au

THE State Gov­ern­ment is de­liv­er­ing a $115 mil­lion boost to give Vic­to­ria’s busy hos­pi­tals re­lief from a mas­sive surge in de­mand fol­low­ing one of Vic­to­ria’s worst-ever flu sea­sons.

Last week, Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, Northern Vic­to­tia) an­nounced that Northern Vic­to­ria’s lo­cal pub­lic hos­pi­tals and Bush Nurs­ing cen­tres will share in the spe­cial fund­ing sup­port pack­age.

This year’s flu sea­son has re­sulted in sus­tained pres­sure on Vic­to­ria’s health sys­tem with more than 14,000 flu cases re­ported across Vic­to­ria so far.

Over win­ter there has been a surge in peo­ple vis­it­ing emer­gency de­part­ments.

In Au­gust alone, more than 3900 peo­ple vis­ited emer­gency de­part­ments each day – the largest ever for Au­gust on record.

Ms Symes said this fund­ing pack­age will sup­port lo­cal hos­pi­tals to en­sure a record num­ber of pa­tients can get the care they need from emer­gency de­part­ments faster, for the re­main­der of the year.

Mans­field District Hospi­tal ben­e­fited from this boost with a $61,426 fund­ing pack­age.

Though it only helps ease some of the strain, Mans­field District Hospi­tal chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Cameron But­ler will take what­ever he can get.

“We wel­come any in­crease in fund­ing and it will cer­tainly go to­wards pay­ing the in­creased cost of util­i­ties, which are look­ing to in­crease by about $140,000 this year,” he said.

“It’s go­ing to be a tight fi­nan­cial year, so we wel­come any ad­di­tional fund­ing we can at­tract.

“We had higher than ex­pected sick leave of our own staff be­cause of the flu out­break, so this will also help cover that in­crease in ex­pen­di­ture.”

The ex­tra boost comes on top the record $1.67 bil­lion pro­vided in the Vic­to­rian bud­get 2017/18 to sup­port hos­pi­tals.

“This flu sea­son has hit us hard and ev­ery sin­gle one of our pub­lic hos­pi­tals in coun­try Vic­to­ria has been work­ing over­time so Vic­to­ri­ans can con­tinue to have ac­cess to the care they need - when they need it,” Ms Symes said.

“Our ded­i­cated doc­tors, nurses, paramedics and other health­care work­ers have done a re­mark­able job in the face of un­prece­dented de­mand - en­sur­ing pa­tients are re­ceiv­ing the first class care they de­serve.

“Hos­pi­tals across Vic­to­ria, in­clud­ing here in Northern Vic­to­ria, have been feel­ing the pres­sure this flu sea­son.”

EMER­GENCY: Record num­bers of pa­tients and sky-rock­et­ing en­ergy bills have taken its toll on Mans­field District Hospi­tal’s bud­get.

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