Ma­jor boost for Stawell Hos­pi­tal

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Stawell Re­gional Health will use a $2.2-mil­lion fund­ing boost to up­grade cool­ing and heat­ing systems at Stawell Hos­pi­tal.

Premier Daniel An­drews and Health Min­is­ter Jill Hen­nessy trav­elled to Stawell for the an­nounce­ment.

Mr An­drews said the gov­ern­ment was pro­vid­ing the money to help the health ser­vice re­place out­dated chillers and hot-water systems through­out the hos­pi­tal and fit­ting acute wards with new air-han­dling systems.

He said the up­dated hos­pi­tal in­fra­struc­ture would mean Stawell Re­gional Health could sched­ule more surg­eries and re­duce can­cel­la­tions – and im­prove work­ing con­di­tions for hos­pi­tal staff.

“We’re tak­ing ac­tion to fit Stawell Re­gional Health with the lat­est, cut­ting-edge in­fra­struc­ture that will al­low hard-work­ing hos­pi­tal staff to treat more pa­tients sooner, and closer to their homes,” he said.

The gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing the money through its $200-mil­lion Re­gional Health and In­fra­struc­ture Fund, which it pro­motes as the largest fund of its kind in Vic­to­rian his­tory.

Mr An­drews used the fund­ing an­nounce­ment to crit­i­cise the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment ap­proach to re­gional health ser­vices.

“Under the Turnbull Gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Health Re­form Agree­ment 2020-21 to 2024-25, the Lib­er­als are still re­fus­ing to pay their fair share, cap­ping their con­tri­bu­tion at 6.5 per­cent growth, which won’t meet de­mand in our hos­pi­tals, and they’re re­fus­ing to in­crease the Com­mon­wealth con­tri­bu­tion rate to 50 per­cent,” he said.

“At Stawell, this will hit pa­tients and lo­cal fam­i­lies hard. The agree­ment they have put on the ta­ble would mean a $3.3-mil­lion short­fall for Stawell Re­gional Health – that’s the equiv­a­lent of 11 fewer doc­tors, 26 fewer nurses or 528 fewer surg­eries.

“This is on top of the $104-mil­lion that Vic­to­ria is al­ready owed by the fed­eral Lib­eral gov­ern­ment – which Mal­colm Turnbull still re­fuses to pay – de­spite in­de­pen­dent ad­vice con­firm­ing Vic­to­ria is en­ti­tled to the fund­ing.”

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