Health service back in black

A RETURN to surplus for the Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS) was one of the bright lights at the hospital’s 24th annual general meeting last Thursday, November 24 in Korumburra.

The surplus, before capital and specific items, was a modest $23,000 but this is a good result when you look at a projected deficit of $508,000 and an actual deficit last financial year of $1.363 million.

Once depreciation and capital purpose income is taken into account the net result for the year was a deficit of $1.807 million.

Chair of the Finance and Audit committee Peter Siggins told the 40-plus people in attendance the turnaround can be largely be attributed to increased revenue received for the organisation’s residential aged care facilities.

This was achieved from higher occupancy rates and improvements in Commonwealth revenue receipts per occupied bed day.

Operating costs were also contained during 2015/2016. Strategies which were adopted to improve the result during 2015/2016 have largely been completed.

Earlier president of the board of management, Mark Holmes, said the health service successfully completed a mid-year review to pass accreditation again.

Three hospitals, at Foster, Wonthaggi and Leongatha are working in collaboration to develop a plan of service delivery.

“We’ve got to increase our capacities and work together to fill gaps in our hospital network and bring more surgeons and specialists to our area,” Mr Holmes said.

“Foster has a big area to service; if we can get partnerships going between the three it will ease some of the pressures.”

“We’re having a comprehensive look at what and where we deliver and at what cost. It’s about a continuous process of improving our quality of care,” Mr Holmes said.

“We have a wonderful team of (how many) volunteers registered with us demonstrating this is a great community that supports us so well.”

“The Friends of Hillside Lodge, the Lyrebird Auxiliary, the Leongatha Horticultural Society, service clubs in both Leongatha and Korumburra, individuals and businesses have all been a wonderful help.”

Mr Holmes, who has served 10 years on the board and more than two years as president will be stepping down early in the New Year.

Two other retiring board members were presented with gifts recognizing their service. Garry Austin, who served 10 years with the board, and Lindsay Powney, nearly seven years with the board, were both thanked for their service to the organisation.

Sue Fleming and Catherine Pickett are new to the board, beginning their terms in July.

The 20105/2016 Quality Account (previously known as the Quality of Care Report) was also presented to those attending.

The Quality Account is designed to increase community awareness about GSHS and the things they do to ensure the provision of high quality care for its patients, clients, carers, residents and their families.

Just some of the subjects covered in the report include surveys, accreditation, welcoming feedback, quality indicators to maintain patient safety, maternity services, and supporting end of life care.

Report: exhibiting the new 2015/2016 Quality Account document were board president Mark Holmes and Chief Executive Officer Mark Johnson.

Report: exhibiting the new 2015/2016 Quality Account document were board president Mark Holmes and Chief Executive Officer Mark Johnson.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=20113

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