Mans­field part of fact find­ing tour for Shadow Health Min­is­ter

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS - By PAM ZIERKMAHON­EY

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).

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