“Disappointment” for Cobram Hospital
Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy has expressed disappointment at the lack of funding for the Cobram Hospital in the recently-released Victorian budget.
Last year, Mr McCurdy called for $25 million in the budget, but received $5.6 million instead; and he said it was “only a small part of what was needed”.
“We are seeing our health services slowly drifting away from Cobram, towards the larger centres, one by one,” he said.
“We need a strong healthcare service in Cobram, not just an aged care facility.”
He said Cobram was “cruelly ignored” in the state budget.
“The government has had the chance to commit funding specifically to this project,” he said.
“They have somehow found $28.1 billion to cover cost blowouts on their mismanaged major projects in Melbourne, but not a cent for healthcare in Cobram.
“It is an incredible disappointment to once again see the Cobram Hospital and community miss out.”
Healthcare in the region is also a hot topic in the coming election for the Nicholls seat.
Recently, radiology provider I-MED stopped offering ultrasounds in Cobram due to ongoing staffing issues, leaving healthcare provider NCN Health without any ultrasound capability across its network.
Medical care access has also been an ongoing issue, with some patients experiencing prolonged wait times and lack of access to care.
However, the health sector has just got $12 billion worth of funding in the recently-released Victorian budget.
It includes $333 million for 400 Triple-0 call centre workers, $124 million for 90 new paramedics, and $1.5 billion to tackle the lengthy elective surgery waiting list.
Another $4.2 billion is earmarked for rapid antigen tests and other COVID-19 measures; $1.3 billion is set to help implement the state’s recommendations from the Mental Health Royal Commission.