Extra hospital funding
Flu funding boost barely touches the sides for local hospital needs
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.