Alpine Health se­cures flu cash boost

State in­jects ex­tra $126,932 to help lift vac­ci­na­tions within Alpine Shire

Myrtleford Times - - News - BY JAMIE KRONBORG jkro­n­borg@ ne­me­

ALPINE Health has been al­lo­cated al­most $127,000 to boost in­fluenza vac­ci­na­tions in Alpine com­mu­ni­ties.

It is among a swath of coun­try health ser­vices to share $115 mil­lion from the Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment to min­imise in­fluenza out­breaks in the wake of a bad flu sea­son.

Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) said Alpine Health would re­ceive $126,932 as part of a boost to vac­ci­na­tion fund­ing.

Nearby Beech­worth Health Ser­vice is to get $78,600 and North­east Health Wan­garatta a size­able $1.35 mil­lion to pay for the ex­panded vac­ci­na­tion roll-out.

Ms Symes said the fund­ing should pro­vide some re­lief from a mas­sive surge in de­mand this win­ter.

St John’s Vil­lage aged care fa­cil­ity in Wan­garatta was par­tic­u­larly af­fected, with a flu in­fec­tion lead­ing to the deaths of eight res­i­dents.

Ms Symes said this sea­son had put Vic­to­ria’s health sys­tem un­der sus­tained pres­sure with more than 14,000 flu cases re­ported across the state.

She said there had been a surge in peo­ple vis­it­ing emer­gency de­part­ments and in Au­gust alone more than 3900 peo­ple vis­ited emer­gency de­part­ments each day – the largest for the month on record.

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

“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.

“This gov­ern­ment fund­ing will be key to sup­port­ing our lo­cal hos­pi­tals to keep de­liv­er­ing the qual­ity care our pa­tients need.”

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