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Healthcare hopes

WONTHAGGI Hospital could receive an improved emergency department, operating theatre and layout if it received subregional funding.

Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child confirmed the Department of Health and Human Service gave the green light for the master planning process to start at the Wonthaggi Hospital recently.

The process will kick off in six weeks will take six months to complete.

Ms Child said the process was an exciting journey toward subregional status and would give staff the opportunity to plan for better infrastructure.

With construction for the Cowes Medical Hub set to begin in 10 months, a master plan for the hospital was next on the Phillip Island Medical and Health Action Group’s agenda to continuing fighting for better healthcare in the region.

Partnered with the Phillip Island Progress Association and the Bass Coast Residents and Ratepayers Association, the health action group believes a master plan would reinvigorate the hospital.

“Wonthaggi Hospital is a critical component of publicly funded health services for the wider community, providing the only publicly funded emergency department in the shire,” health action group president Peter Paul said.

“It is a simply fact of life that hospitals need regular investment in equipment, people and buildings to meet the challenges of a changing medical landscape. Unfortunately, Wonthaggi Hospital has been woefully neglected for many years, and it shows.”

The group identified two significant issues about the hospital: it’s inability to keep up with the growing population and its inadequate design.

“We need the government to take the upgrade out of the ‘too hard’ basket and act urgently for the wellbeing of the West Gippsland community. The Bass Coast Health CEO (Jan Child) is working to improve things at Wonthaggi, but is severely limited in what she can accomplish without significantly increased resources,” Mr Paul said.

“One thing is certain, if we, the people of Bass Coast, do not care enough to make our feelings known at the highest level, then we cannot expect change. The government have a sustained lack of interest in resourcing and upgrading Wonthaggi hospital to subregional levels. This push must come from the community.”

The State Government is now accepting submissions to the government’s $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to rebuild rural and regional health services.

“We are supporting the health system so Victorians can access the care they need, when they need it, closer to home,” a government spokesperson said.

“We have already started engaging with Bass Coast Health about undertaking a master plan over the next 12 months, looking at ways we can improve health services for local residents.”

Improved healthcare: from left, Phillip Island Medical and Health Action Group president Peter Paul, Phillip Island Progress Association president Jason Cameron, Phillip Island Medical and Health Action Group secretary Linda Marston, Bass Coast Residents and Ratepayers Association president Kevin Griffin, and Phillip Island Medical and Health Action Group and Bass Coast Residents and Ratepayers Association treasurer Gary Simmons have joined forces to fight for better health services in Bass Coast and West Gippsland communities.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21841

Posted by on Jul 11 2017. Filed under Featured, 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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