Walsh vows to take care of bush nurs­ing cen­tres

Campaspe News - - NEWS - By KIM­BER­LEY PRICE

MEM­BER for Mur­ray Plains Peter Walsh toured the Lock­ing­ton & Dis­trict Bush Nurs­ing Cen­tre as the state op­po­si­tion an­nounced their aim to save cen­tres at risk of clo­sure un­der Premier Daniel An­drews.

Bush nurs­ing cen­tres (BNCs) pro­vide a crit­i­cal health ser­vice to ru­ral and re­mote Vic­to­ri­ans, but re­cent changes by the state gov­ern­ment has left them fi­nan­cially un­vi­able and forced to con­sider clos­ing their doors.

‘‘This cen­tre is a com­mu­nity meet­ing point for Lock­ing­ton,’’ Mr Walsh said.

If elected, the Lib­eral Na­tion­als gov­ern­ment would pro­vide $300,000 in emer­gency fund­ing over two years to make sure nurses and sup­port staff at Vic­to­ria’s 15 com­mu­nity-based, not-for­profit BNCs can con­tinue to de­liver es­sen­tial pri­mary health ser­vices.

As the only health ser­vice in the ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties they’re based in, BNCs of­fer ser­vices in­clud­ing al­lied health, respite care and emer­gency treat­ment.

‘‘We know bush nurs­ing cen­tres are a crit­i­cal health ser­vice in ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties – and we want to keep it that way,’’ Shadow Min­is­ter for Coun­try Health Emma Kealy said.

‘‘Good health care is one of the foun­da­tions of a com­mu­nity and should be a given – re­gard­less of where you live.’’

■ Ian Haines, Mem­ber for Mur­ray Plains Peter Walsh, Carolyn Eade and Ann-Ma­ree Hewlett.

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