MP pushes for dialysis unit at Cobram
A dialysis unit is needed at Cobram hospital, according to a local MP.
Speaking in Victorian Parliament recently, Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy asked the health minister to provide the necessary funding.
‘‘My adjournment matter is to the Minister for Health and the action I seek is that the minister assists the Cobram community by funding a dialysis unit for Cobram hospital,’’ Mr McCurdy said.
‘‘I get many requests from Cobram residents regarding the lack of renal dialysis facilities in our region.
‘‘The latest request is on behalf of a resident who has tried unsuccessfully to access dialysis placements in Shepparton, Echuca, Yarrawonga and Wangaratta. Currently they are not available.’’
Mr McCurdy said even if places were to become available, there were long travel times to and from those towns three times a week for those requiring dialysis treatments.
‘‘Cobram is a town that is large enough to be able to justify this service, so I ask that the minister consider providing dialysis at Cobram hospital to service Cobram and the surrounding region,’’ he said.
‘‘Cobram District Health is an excellent community hospital, providing wonderful service to our area and I think it would benefit greatly from a dialysis unit.’’
Cobram District Health acting chief executive Wendy Ross said a lot of water would need to go under the bridge before a dialysis unit was implemented at the hospital.
‘‘The establishment of highly-specialised services such as dialysis requires careful assessment and planning to ensure staff can deliver the best possible care,’’ she said.
‘‘Dialysis is currently provided in nearby centres, including Shepparton and Yarrawonga.
‘‘Goulburn Valley Health is currently undergoing redevelopment to more than double its dialysis capacity, from seven to 16 chairs.’’
Ms Ross said planning had started on a federal level, which would potentially make dialysis units more accessible for regional communities.
‘‘A plan outlining system priorities (2018-2022) is currently being developed by the Department of Health and Human Services,’’ she said.
‘‘The plan will create regional networks to address gaps where new dialysis services are needed. Cobram District Health will take an active interest in the outcome of this plan.
‘‘The board and chief executive officer of Cobram District Health will continually seek opportunities to meet community needs, and will work to ensure that services provided are safe and sustainable.’’