Funding help to deal with severe flu season
Cobram District Health has received a $100 000 cash injection to help it cope with one of the worst influenza seasons in recent years.
With record numbers of people being seen in hospitals across northern Victoria, the money is urgently needed to help see patients as quickly as possible.
Cobram District Health chief executive David Gullick said the $111 634 would have an immediate impact at a grassroots level as CDH handled its share of cases.
There were 162 presentations to the hospital’s Urgent Care Centre in the past three months with flu-like or respiratory symptoms and there were 27 admissions with flu or respiratory symptoms in the same period.
Mr Gullick said total admissions at the hospital had increased by 11 per cent compared to the same time last year, from 229 to 255.
‘‘The Urgent Care Centre has been quite busy so we will allocate the funding to the acute ward and the nursing home,’’ he said.
‘‘It has been a bad influenza season. We will increase staffing in areas where demand has risen to make sure we have enough resources to look after people.’’
State Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the massive surge in demand for treatment had prompted the special funding support package for local public hospitals and bush nursing centres.
‘‘Hospitals across Victoria have been feeling the pressure with more than 14 000 flu cases reported this flu season,’’ Mr Gepp said.
‘‘This money will be key to supporting our local hospitals to keep delivering the quality care patients need.’’
Winter has seen a surge in people visiting emergency departments.
In August alone, more than 3900 people visited emergency departments each day. That’s a record for the month.
It is anticipated quicker hospital transfer times will also enable paramedics to get back on the road sooner to help save more lives.
People waiting for elective surgery will also benefit, with more people than ever expected to receive surgery in 2017-18.
While the peak is coming to an end, hospitals continue to urge patients with less severe illnesses to contact their GP, a pharmacist — including Victoria’s 24/7 Supercare Pharmacies — or phone NURSE-ONCALL.
Mr Gullick also stressed people, especially children and the elderly, need to consider flu vaccinations every year, and that it was not too late for one this year.