NHW cash an election bonus

31 Oct 2018 • Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General 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.