Mansfield part of fact finding tour for Shadow Health Minister
SHADOW Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge, visited Mansfield last week, as part of a fact finding tour of hospitals within the Eildon electorate.
Accompanied by local Liberal member Cindy McLeish (MLA, Eildon), Ms Wooldridge wanted to see first hand what challenges, opportunities and differences occurred in rural hospitals compared to those in metropolitan areas.
She said she realised that areas such as Mansfield were changing and clear long term planning was important.
“Mansfield is experiencing large growth both in new families and aged population, and it’s important to be prepared and to make sure the State Government is supporting all areas of regional health,” she said.
Ms Wooldridge inspected the recently opened Primary Care Precinct at the Mansfield and applauded the hospital and its board for the innovative move.
The air conditioning unit at the new precinct was funded from the Rural Capital Support Fund – a fund set up by the former Liberal government but which has now been dropped.
“This was a great source of funding for small projects such as new air conditioning or re-roofing of a building and the like,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“This government has removed that program – it no longer exists and funding for small projects has been removed.”
Ms Wooldridge went on to visit Alexandra hospital, which she pointed out was a new modern hospital but does not carry all the services that Mansfield offers.
Mansfield District Hospital chief executive, Marianne Warren, also pointed out that Mansfield, although small and rural, offered all services and the new primary care precinct was aiming to bring together all health related services under one banner and working with all providers across the region.
FACT FINDING: At the Mansfield Hospital last week were Shadow Minister for Health Mary Wooldridge (right), Cindy McLeish (MLA, Eildon) and MDH chief executive Marianne Warren (left).