Echuca Hospital To Be Rebuilt

Echuca Hospital To Be Rebuilt

Victoria Shadow Minister for Regional & Rural Development Peter Ryan

VIC Coalition To Provide $40 Million To Rebuild Echuca Hospital

Victor P Taffa

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition will fund a $40 Million rebuild of Echuca’s ageing Hospital if elected to Government.

Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan made the announcement while in Echuca today with The Nationals Member for Rodney Paul Weller.

“A Coalition Government will provide $40 Million over the next four years to fund desperately needed works at Echuca Regional Health.” Mr. Ryan said.

“The money will fund phase one of the hospital’s redevelopment, including a new accident and emergency department, maternity, paediatric, surgical and medical wards, a pharmacy and new reception, public cafeteria and entry foyer.”

 

“Our commitment, coupled with the new 24 bed sub-acute ward which has already been funded by the Commonwealth, will increase the number of acute hospital beds at Echuca from 67 to 112 and increase the number of emergency department treatment cubicles from 7 to 18.” Mr. Ryan said.

“A Coalition Government will also work to secure funding from the Commonwealth’s $1.8 billion fund for regional health services towards the second stage of the hospital’s redevelopment.”

Mr. Ryan said the funding announcement was a credit to Mr Weller who had lobbied extensively for funding for the hospital since he was elected to Parliament in 2006.

“The hospital is old, cramped and incapable of meeting the health care needs of the growing community.” Mr. Ryan said.

“Hospital Staff have done a wonderful job in providing high class health care in such testing conditions.”

“It is an absolute credit to the staff that they have continued to care for the community despite substandard conditions for so many years.”

“Some parts of the hospital are 120 years old and its emergency department and wards are crumbling and infested with white ants.” Mr. Ryan said.

“The building’s structural deficiencies are compounded by the fact that the hospital has a shortage of acute beds, limited oncology services, no psychiatric facility or safe room and no isolation room for infection control.”

“Conditions are so cramped that men and women often have to share bedrooms and bathrooms and many patients have boycotted the hospital to seek care in Shepparton or Bendigo.”

Mr. Ryan said activity at the hospital had grown significantly over the past 10 years, with the number of admissions rising from 6,600 in 2000 to 9,300 in 2008.

Mr. Weller said the hospital’s board and management had worked tirelessly to ensure the detailed planning required by the government had been carried out, but requests for funding had been ignored.

“The project is ready to go but the Brumby Labor Government has refused repeated requests for Capital Funding.” Mr. Weller said.

“Echuca has historically had problems attracting and retaining doctors and other medical professionals because of the appalling state of the Hospital.”

“The Coalition will ensure Echuca Regional Health receives its fair share of funding after 11years of neglect under Labor.” Mr. Weller said.

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