Flu funding provides extra staff and beds
ECHUCA Regional Health will receive $817,815 following one of its worst-ever flu seasons.
The special funding support package is part of a Victorian Government $115 million funding boost to give the state’s busy hospitals relief from a massive surge in demand.
ERH chief executive Michael Delahunty said the hospital had experienced a record flu season; 12 per cent up on the same time last year.
‘‘There is no doubt our activity in the emergency department has increased . . . and a lot relates to flu-type symptoms,’’ he said.
‘‘It is a factor with presentations and has also had an impact on staff with an increase in sick leave.’’
Mr Delahunty said the funding package would allow ERH to employ extra staff and open extra beds.
‘‘We got through our peak period and the staff did an excellent job so this funding will help us to employ extra staff and we’re looking at opening an extra four beds seven days a week,’’ he said.
Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the funding would support local hospitals to ensure a record number of patients could get the care they needed from emergency departments faster, for the rest of the year.
‘‘People waiting for elective surgery will also benefit with more people than ever expected to receive surgery in 2017-18,’’ he said.
Mr Gepp said hospitals across Victoria had been feeling the pressure with more than 14,000 flu cases reported across the state this flu season.
‘‘This money will be key to supporting our local hospitals to keep delivering the quality care our patients need,” he said.
He said over winter, there had been a surge in people visiting emergency departments.
‘‘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,’’ Mr Gepp said.