Bogus hospital no fix for Island

WITH trouble stirring on Phillip Island with residents angry and let down by the State Government’s latest promise of a “Community Hospital”, only to realise it does not mean an urgently needed 24/7 accident and emergency (AE) service for the Island, member for Bass Brian Paynter has pledged a 24/7 AE remedy.
This is what the Island community has been crying out for since the Warley Hospital was closed in 2008 by the then Brumby Labor Government when Daniel Andrews was State Health Minister.
Last week’s funding announcement by Eastern Victoria Region MLC Harriet Shing stated a “community hospital” would be delivered for Cowes.
Design and detailed planning work on the Phillip Island Community Hospital will start next year, with works complete by 2024.
Ms Shing said, “This community hospital for Phillip Island will provide general and specialist patient care, non-acute treatment, treatment such as dialysis and chemotherapy and day procedures, so that patients can be treated closer to home.” News of the funding for a “community hospital” for Phillip Island was first met with elation, but not long after people were scratching their heads and wondering what a “community hospital” would deliver.
That elation soon turned to anger when residents realised they had been dudded with smoke screen funding for none other than a glorified medical hub and no 24/7 accident and emergency service.
In the announcement Mr Andrews said, “Nothing beats the peace of mind of knowing that when a loved one gets sick, care is just around the corner.”
Medical care is available on the Island but residents are forced to travel at least 40 minutes for 24/7 accident and emergency at the Wonthaggi Hospital that is stretched to the limit and people are being turned away.
Meanwhile on Monday Mr Paynter said the Liberal Nationals would fund a 24 hour medical centre for Phillip Island.
The $1.8m proposed trial would see the opening hours of the current medical centre extended to 24/7 and Mr Paynter said, “I’ve been working with Bass Coast Health and the Phillip Island community and this is a solution that will work.”
Phillip Island Progress Association president Jason Cameron said the (Andrew’s) government was taking Island residents for “fools”.
“How stupid do they think we are? We have to wait till 2024 for the promised mystery hospital,” he said.
“We are not asking for the Alfred Hospital but with a population of 11,000 on the Island and some 24,000 day trippers every long weekend, and tens of thousands more in holiday times, there is an urgent need for a 24/7 accident and emergency service on the Island.
“We have to be able to offer emergency care right here on the Island and a 40 to 45 minute drive to Wonthaggi is not an option.
“We definitely need a higher level of health service on Phillip Island that is better than the Community Hospital being proposed.”
Ingrid of Rhyll is just one Island resident who is angry at the poor state of health services offered for Phillip Island at present and believes Wonthaggi Hospital is not the answer after being turned away a number of times.
She said there were not enough ambulance or helicopter services and reported her husband, a local taxi driver, has transported sick patients to Wonthaggi Hospital on numerous occasions.
There is some thought Mr Andrews could be visiting Bass Coast and attending Phillip Island’s 150th dinner celebration on November 10 so that would be a great chance for locals to get answers and a commitment to returning a hospital to Phillip Island.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=26414

Posted by on Nov 6 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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