All smiles at NHW $6.9 million announcement

26 Mar 2018 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) THE best care provided close to home. That was the recurring message from Premier Daniel Andrews as he formally announced the $6.9 million in funding for stage two of Northeast Health Wangarattas (NHW) $22 million redevelopment project. The funding will allow stage two to proceed in conjunction with stage one, which received $15.2 million funding from the State Government just 12 months ago. The sheer joy on the faces of NHW executives, board members, staff, volunteers and patients that the project was going ahead immediately was clearly visible as the Premier, along with Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria), Wangaratta mayor Ken Clarke and chief executive officer Brendan McGrath, their retinue and large media pack, toured the hospital. The redevelopment will provide 27 extra beds to meet the demand for high quality critical care and maternity services across the Hume Region and featuring an extra four maternity beds, refurbished birthing and obstetrics area, extra six medical beds and two palliative care beds. Both stages are expected to create around 60 construction jobs and be completed by late 2020. The Premier also announced a $500,000 regional digital cardiology project between NHW and Alpine Health, jointly funded by the Labor Government and the Alpine community through the Bright opportunity shop, which is speeding up diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions for remote patients. Developed in partnership with Victorias cardiac clinical network, it will enable quicker, 24/7 reporting of digital ECGs from patients in rural urgent care centres with chest pain or suspected acute coronary syndrome. The North East system was the inaugural installation of its type in Victoria. Mr Andrews said the upgrade secures the hospitals future as a high complexity health service that treats a board range of patients as well as being the rural citys largest employer. Wangaratta hospital has always been a big part of my life it was there for me as I grew up and it was there for my dad as he battled cancer, Mr Andrews said. This is a fantastic hospital with hard-working doctors, nurses and health professionals. With this funding boost were making it even better, ensuring that locals can get the care and support they need closer to home. Mr Andrews also praised Ms Symes for her passionate advocacy for the funding on behalf of NHW. NHW board chair Brendan Schutt and NHW chief executive officer Margaret Bennett both thanked the Premier for the State Governments support. Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley) was also ecstatic about the funding. Im absolutely delighted for NHW, Mr McCurdy said. Its something Ive been talking about with the Minister for Health Jill Hennessey over recent years and Im delighted she has granted our wish. Caption Text: VICTORIAN FIRST: Premier Daniel Andrews with Dr John Elcock, director of medical services, Brian King, Alpine Health board chair, and Dr Les Bolitho at the announcement of $500,000 funding for the regional digital cardiology project.Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence