A new $3million community rehabilitation centre at Cobram Hospital, that will allow surgical patients to recover in the town rather than in Shepparton, will be built this year.By Randall Johnston
A new $3
Cobram District Health chief executive Craig DeLacy said the new centre would allow people recovering from surgery to do so in a purpose-built facility in Cobram.
The centre will be built on a site next to the existing dental clinic.
Cobram District Health board president Jennie Gould said the rehabilitation centre would bring enormous benefits to the community.
‘‘For the local community, being able to get all the services in one venue will be a great advantage and will prevent many people having to travel to Shepparton for therapy,’’ Mrs Gould said.
‘‘The concept of a community rehabilitation centre has been in the pipeline for a long time and has taken a lot of work to get to this stage.’’
Mrs Gould said Phillip Pullar was board chair and Nick Bush the chief executive in the project’s early stages and secured government cash help.
‘‘Craig DeLacy, our CEO, has been working with other district hospitals to develop the hub and spoke model to ensure this project supports not only Cobram but also surrounding communities,’’ she said.
‘‘The tendering process will commence shortly and ideally we would like to be under way by the middle of the year.’’
Mr Pullar said the centre had been five to 10 years in the making.
‘‘It had been identified that for those who go away for surgery within the Moira Shire, there is a lack of rehab services in our area,’’ he said.
‘‘It will also service people at Yarrawonga and other areas.’’
Mr Pullar said the board purchased the Catholic church’s convent in order to build the new centre.
‘‘It’s an extension of the focus on primary health services that we already have,’’ he said.
‘‘Years ago, we developed this model of health and started by getting our own doctors. We then set out to provide more primary health, delivering health services to people in their homes.’’
Mr Pullar said the government cash came after a report and investigation into services provided in the Hume region.
‘‘(Cobram District Health Board) applied as much pressure as we could. Once we had a report backing (the need for a local rehabilitation centre), funding was confirmed in 2010,’’ he said. ‘‘The Department of Human Services department in Wangaratta helped, and Chris Symmonds who was director of nursing Cobram Hospital at the time.’’
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