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Not clear how Gippsland and Latrobe Valley hospitals performing during a pandemic after health services fail to finalise annual reports
The community has no clear idea of how local regional hospitals are performing during a pandemic after nearly 60 country health services failed to finalise their annual reports.
A dump of more than 200 annual reports in the Victorian Parliament this week did not include documents required from dozens of regional hospitals, including services in Sale, Yarram, Orbost, Omeo, South Gippsland and Warragul. Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Health Danny O'Brien said the worrying delays left the local community in the dark on whether our hospitals are properly equipped to deal with outbreaks.
A letter tabled in the Parliament by Health Minister Martin Foley pointed to "the impacts of the pandemic upon the Hospital and Health Services, and delays associated with auditing" as the reason for the delay. But the Minister did not state when these reports will be finalised
Delay on reports need to be explained
Mr O'Brien said, "The pandemic has put a huge strain on our health system, with cases expected to rise in regional Victoria as the state reopens, it's more important than ever that we have a clear picture of how the local hospital is performing.
"Rural communities already experience significant disadvantages with access to health services and specialists and we need assurance that our hospitals are solvent and prepared. Our frontline workers like nurses and doctors are under pressure, but they aren't the ones who prepare the annual reports so the Labor Government needs to explain the delay." Mr O'Brien said.
Health services are under-resourced
On the same day, the Government managed to find the resources to boast about a merger of health services in the Grampians region that locals are strongly opposed to. Shadow Minister for Health Georgie Crozier said if the Minister was aware rural hospitals were struggling to keep up, he must provide extra assistance.
Ms Crozier said, "Rural hospitals are the heart of regional communities and will continue to play a critical role in the pandemic response, along with the critical care and management for those within local communities, recent COVID outbreaks in Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and the Latrobe Valley have raised serious concerns that health services have been under-resourced by the Government to manage testing and vaccinations, while also meeting local health needs."
"The delay of these reports raises more red flags that the Andrews Labor Government isn't doing enough to make sure rural health services have the resources they need to meet changing demands." It also comes as the Andrews Labor Government axed funding to Primary Care Partnerships which oversee and coordinate localised health promotion programs in regional and rural Victoria.
List of delayed annual reports
Full list of hospitals and health services with delayed annual reports
|Albury Wodonga||Great Ocean Road Health||Radiation Advisory Committee|
|Alexandra District Hospital||Goulburn Valley Health||Rural Northwest Health|
|Alpine Health||Heathcote Health Service||Seymour Health|
|Ballarat Health Services||Hesse Rural Health Service||South Gippsland Hospital|
|Barwon Health||Heywood Rural Health||South West Healthcare|
|Beechworth Health Service||Inglewood and Districts Health Service||Stawell Regional Health|
|Bass Coast Health||Kerang District Health||Swan Hill District Health|
|Beechworth Health||Kilmore District Health||Tallangatta Health Service|
|Benalla Health||Kyabram and District Health Services||Terang and Mortlake Health Service|
|Boort District Health||Maldon Hospital||Timboon and District Healthcare Service|
|Casterton Memorial Hospital||Mansfield District Hospita||Tweddle Child and Family Health Service|
|Castlemaine Health||Mildura Base Hospital||Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority|
|Central Gippsland Health Service||Mildura Cemetery Trust, The||Victorian Pharmacy Authority|
|Central Highlands Rural Health||Moyne Health Services||West Gippsland Healthcare Group|
|Cohuna District Hospital||NCN Health (Formerly Cobram, Nathalia & Numurkah and District Health Service)||West Wimmera Health Service|
|Colac Area Health||Northeast Health Wangaratta||Western District Health Service|
|Corryong Health||Omeo District Health||Wimmera Health Care Group|
|Djerriwarrh Health Services||Orbost Regional Health||Yarram and District Health Service|
|East Grampians Health Service||Peninsula Health||Yarrawonga Health|
|East Wimmera Health Service||Portland District Health||Yea & District Memorial Hospital|
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