25 Jul 2018 Seymour Telegraph, Seymour VIC (General News) by Alison OConnor Seymour Health gets welcome funding increase Seymour Health has been allocated $13.98 million from this years Victorian budget an increase of $402 000 from last year. Seymour Health chief executive Chris McDonnell said the three per cent increase in funding was welcome, allowing them to do more around their health independence programs while still maintaining current service levels at the facility. State funding makes up most of Seymour Healths budget, with the rest coming from a range of other sources, including residents fees, fundraising, and other state and federal health bodies. Were really pleased with the injection of funds, which will allow us to continue the services we have now as well as direct funds to areas of need, Mr McDonnell said. Costs in health are a real challenge, so we need to make sure we have good efficiency measures in place. We currently work with GV health who are our pharmacy provider, which allows us to be efficient with our medication costs and that gives us a good return. With Seymours ageing population and increasing instances of chronic health problems, the funding will also be directed in to primary health care. The funding all goes in to the pool of money to run the hospital, and we cut it up and put it in to the services we think we need to provide, Mr McDonnell said. There is a long, slow trend that our community is getting older with more chronic health conditions, so its important that we direct money to meet that need. Two major capital projects will be under way next year at Seymour Health a redevelopment to the hospitals urgent care facility, as well as a new 10-bedroom residential aged care wing within Barrabill House both thanks to separate government funding boosts. The Barrabill House project was announced last week and work is expected to begin in mid-to-late 2019, while planning for the redeveloped urgent care facility is well under way and work is expected to start there in the early part of next year. Up the road, Kilmore and District Hospital has been allocated $15.51 million in this years state budget thats $1.6 million more than the previous 12 months, or an 11.5 per cent increase. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the Labor Governments 2018-19 budget allocations sees hospitals sharing in 10 per cent more funding than in the previous 12 months. Were delivering record funding to ensure that Kilmore Hospital and Seymour Health and our other hospitals can treat more patients faster and closer to home, Ms Symes said. Our doctors, nurses, allied and other healthcare workers dedicate themselves each day to care for us when we need it. Were helping them by opening more beds to reduce patient waiting times for surgery and emergency care.