MP pushes for dial­y­sis unit at Co­bram

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

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.’’

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