Funds boost to battle the flu
04 Oct 2017 • Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News)
by Steve Kelly Ne Com Au
WANGARATTA’S public hospital has been allocated $1.35 million to help meet a record demand due to flu cases this year. It has been a catastrophic flu season with eight residents of aged care facility St John’s Village in Wangaratta passing away over a two week period from mid-August along with 123 including staff becoming infected with the virus. Northeast Health Wangaratta reported that cases had doubled at the hospital during July and this included across the state 14,000 flu cases have been reported to date, with 3900 visiting emergency departments each day during August, the highest ever for the month. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said the funding package will support local hospitals to ensure a record number of patients can get the care they need from emergency departments faster, for the remainder of the year. The funding is part of $1.67 billion in the 2017/18 budget which includes a statewide increase of $115 million. “This flu season has hit us hard and every single one of our public hospitals in country Victoria has been working overtime so Victorians can continue to have access to the care they need – when they need it,” Ms Symes said. “Our dedicated doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers have done a remarkable job in the face of unprecedented demand ensuring patients are receiving the first class care they deserve. Quicker hospital transfer times will also enable paramedics to get back on th road sooner and save more lives. People waiting for elective surgery will also benefit with more people than ever expected to receive surgery in 2017/18. This boost is another part of the Labor Government’s actions to manage the flu season and meet rising demand on the health system. While the peak is coming to an end, hospitals continue to urge patients with less severe illnesses to contact their GP, a pharmacist – including Victoria’s 24/7 Supercare Pharmacies – or NURSE-ONCALL. Ambulance Victoria chief executive officer Tony Walker reports that the funding will also help ambulance services move patients quicker through emergency and get our paramedics back on the road sooner.
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