Premier splashes vital health funds

24 Apr 2017 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Steve Kelly $15.2 million will bring much-needed upgrade works WANGARATTAS public hospital will be able to treat 3500 more patients every year following $15.2 million worth of upgrades to various wards. The funding comes to meet a growing demand across a health service catchment of 90,000 people, including seven per cent growth in inpatient admissions and four per cent growth in patients presenting to the emergency department. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews visited his home town alongside Health Minister Jill Hennessy and other Labor colleagues to announce the funding that will increase the number of critical care unit beds, and the relocation of the oncology unit and medical records unit. The funding is one of the largest to come from the State Governments new $200m regional health fund. It comes on the one-year anniversary of his father Bobs passing. Bob was treated for cancer at Northeast Health Wangarattas (NHW) oncology unit and the premier spent the weekend in Wangaratta with his mother, Jan, and other family members. Pre-federal election controversy struck last year amid claims by Liberal candidate Sophie Mirabella that the hospital missed out on $10m becasue she wasnt elected in the previous term. This is needed and perhaps overdue and I dont make promises I cant keep, so this is real money and theres been a bit of controversy about this but todays a positive day, Mr Andrews said on Friday. (Were) a government that invests to make sure people get better care, lives are saved and communities like Wangaratta and all the smaller communities that are serviced by Northeast Health are stronger and more confident, that if they need health care, theyll be able to get it in the district that they are part of and helped to create. In the ward area a critical care unit, located above the emergency department will be built, that will include additional monitored beds, along with another seven ward beds to be installed at its existing location. An eight-bed observation ward will also be built adjoining the emergency department four more beds than the existing number along with four more treatment spaces for hospital trolleys. Premier Andrews described NHW as one of the best health services in the whole of Victoria and highlighted the efforts of volunteers, management, clinical staff and support staff. The 15.2m is so we can have a bigger and better critical care unit, a new oncology unit, an expanded emergency department, which means treating more local patients locally and ultimately means saving lives, he said. To everybody involved in the planning and who did all the detailed work possible, I want to say well done. All the members of the current board, the formers leaders of this hospital, Margaret (Bennett) and her team should be very proud of the first class hospital that they run. Stage two of the redevelopment will require another $6 million and this will bring an expansion in the wards a total to 22 additional medical beds. Caption Text: SPECIAL VISIT: Lyn Henry was delighted to get an unexpected visit while in hospital from Wangarattas own Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday during his funding annoncement. GRAND OCCASION: Premier Daniel Andrews received a rock star welcome at Northeast Health Wangaratta (NHW) when he came to speak about the $15.2m the Labor Government has funded. Hes pictured with Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria), NHW CEO Margaret Bennett, and Health Minister Jill Hennessy (right). PHOTOS: Emma Hiller Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.