NHW cash an elec­tion bonus

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

YOU only had to hear the ap­plause and cheers from North­east Health Wan­garatta (NHW) staff, board mem­bers and vol­un­teers to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of the ex­tra $10 mil­lion fund­ing for the hospi­tal an­nounced on Mon­day.

It was spon­ta­neous and gen­uine and the smiles on all in­volved re­flected their op­ti­mism for the ser­vice they could pro­vide their pa­tients in the fu­ture.

The an­nounce­ment brought the to­tal fund­ing from the State Govern­ment in re­cent years to more than $32 mil­lion, a stag­ger­ing amount even for the ex­pan­sion and mod­erni­sa­tion of a re­gional health fa­cil­ity like NHW.

The ben­e­fit to the com­mu­nity goes far be­yond the im­proved health care it brings.

NHW is Wan­garatta’s largest em­ployer and the cur­rent up­grade will add more jobs not only dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase but be­yond.

It also en­hances the Ru­ral City of Wan­garatta’s rep­u­ta­tion as a place to live.

The fund­ing is a credit to the NHW board, present and past, who have worked smart and hard to present their case of sev­eral years to the govern­ment in what is a very com­pet­i­tive process.

Ac­knowl­edg­ment must also be given to Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) who has ob­vi­ously pushed the fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion re­peat­edly among her min­is­te­rial col­leagues, and the Premier him­self who no doubt had some say in the mat­ter.

Yes, it is the start of an elec­tion cam­paign and there is no spe­cific date of when the fund­ing will be made avail­able if the La­bor Govern­ment is re­turned, but at least it would be in the pipe­line.

About the only thing we need now is for the Coali­tion to make a bi­par­ti­san com­mit­ment to the fund­ing so we, NHW, its staff, vol­un­teers and pa­tients, know that who­ever wins the elec­tion, the health ser­vice will come out on top.

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