Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Funding to restore health

Benalla Health has received more than $700,000 to upgrade its aged care wing.

February 15, 2013 4:49am

Bill Sykes, Benalla Health CEO Andrew Freeman and Morrie Evans Nurse Unit manager Nathan Willoughby.

Benalla and District Memorial Hospital will receive two grants totalling $730567, with Health Minister David Davis announcing a $342567 boost from the Coalition Government’s Rural Capital Support Fund and $388000 from the Department of Health’s Aged Care branch.

Benalla Health chief executive officer Andrew Freeman said grants would enable an upgrade to the high-care nursing home known as Morrie Evans wing.

‘‘This is an exciting opportunity to address some of the capital challenges that we have been facing in Morrie’s,’’ Mr Freeman said.

‘‘We are currently working with our architects to look at how we can best use this funding. We will also be consulting with our residents and relatives to ensure we are getting the best possible outcome.

‘‘I know all staff, but in particular the Morrie’s staff, are extremely excited by the capital works and can’t wait for it to get started.’’

Member for Benalla Bill Sykes welcomed the investment in the hospital, which will achieve a number of objectives.

“The grants will support smaller capital works projects at the hospital such as new bathrooms in the nursing home and medical ward, providing new facilities for patients and staff,” Dr Sykes said.

Mr Davis said the Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitment to establish the Rural Capital Support Fund providing grants to improve rural and regional health facilities.

‘‘Last year we released the Rural and Regional Health Plan, which is our vision for the future development of health services in rural and regional Victoria.

‘‘The plan outlines directions and actions aimed at improving the Victorian health system so that Victorians living in rural and regional areas have access to the best possible health-care outcomes.

‘‘The Rural Capital Support Fund is an important part of this vision to improve the rural and regional health system,’’ Mr Davis said.

Thirty-four rural health services across Victoria will share in $12.7million of grants from the second round of the Rural Capital Support Fund, which comes on top of $5million for health services across the state from the first round of Rural Capital Support Fund grants announced in June 2012.

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