More patients, more cash

Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News)by Jeff Zeuschner State lifts hospital budget to meet increasing demand WANGARATTAS public hospital will receive a significant budget increase to help meet its increasing patient demand over the next year. State Government MP Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) this week confirmed Northeast Health Wangaratta (NHW) has been allocated $98.336 million up by $6.654 million, or 7.3 per cent, on the previous year. Ms Symes said the funds are part of a record $18.12 billion state-wide spend over the next year so more Victorian patients can get the highest quality care and treatment they need and sooner. We know our dedicated doctors, nurses and staff do a remarkable job at Wangaratta and District Base Hospital and this record boost gives them the support they need to keep saving lives and keep people in Northern Victoria, she said. We are opening more beds, more theatres and reducing waits for surgery and emergency care which is all about putting patients first. NHW acting chief executive officer Tim Griffiths welcomed the funding increase, telling the Wangaratta Chronicle yesterday that NHW has been in regular contact with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to ensure funding is appropriate to meet increasing patient demand and to staff our six additional medical beds in July. Mr Griffiths said NHW has experienced significant demand pressure year on year, with older patients, with more chronic illnesses requiring more complex care. Through our Emergency Department this year, we have experienced another 4.5 per cent plus increase in patient presentations, he said. The funding boost will help ensure NHW has appropriate resources in place to continue to meet demand, so patients can access the service and receive the appropriate level of care. NHW remains Wangarattas biggest employer with over 1200 staff servicing the regional health needs of a catchment with more than 90,000 people.