Echuca hospital will lose more than $400,000 if proposed federal funding cuts are made this financial year.KATHLEEN TONINI December 11, 2012 4:06am
The Echuca hospital will consider extending its Christmas ‘low activity period’ to cope with potential cuts in federal funding.
The Federal Government is proposing to cut about $100 million in funding from Victorian hospitals this financial year because revised population estimates show Victoria’s population is not growing at the expected rate.
Echuca hospital chief executive Michael Delahunty said the hospital usually closed some beds during Christmas and New Year while staff took annual leave.
He said the hospital could extend the period if the proposed $407,000 in federal funding from ERH was cut.
Mr Delahunty said the money had already been included in this year’s budget, before the Federal Government made a ‘‘unilateral decision without consultation’’ with hospitals.
He said demand for health services was increasing in all public hospitals, not decreasing.
He also said Moama’s population would not have been counted, as the Federal Government had just looked at the population of Victoria.
Mr Delahunty said the new bigger hospital was being built because Echuca’s population was expected to increase.
He said bed closures were the most extreme measure, but other coping mechanisms were also being considered.
He would not say what those other measures were.
‘‘At the end of the day there will be some impact on our patients,’’ he said.
Mr Delahunty said the final decision was expected to be made by the end of this week.
While the Victorian Government is blaming the Federal Government, the Federal Health Minister is pointing the finger at the state government.
A spokesperson for Tanya Plibersek said the Federal Government was actually increasing funding for Victoria, with health funding to increase by 26 per cent over the next four years.
He said it was the state government who distributed funding to the hospitals.
‘‘Any reduction in funding to hospitals is a decision of the Baillieu Government,’’ he said.
The spokesperson said Victoria was also receiving an extra $66.9 million in GST payments this year.
He said growth forecasts had been revised on a formula Victoria had agreed to and Victoria’s population had not grown as quickly as expected.
Consequently the Federal Government’s contribution would not grow as much, he said.
‘‘Health Minister David Davis pretends the Commonwealth is claiming Victoria’s population has fallen,’’ he said.
‘‘That is not the case. It simply hasn’t grown as quickly as expected, according to the most recent Census by the independent Australian Bureau of Statistics.’’
Last financial year the Echuca hospital saw a nearly eight per cent rise in emergency department presentations.
There was a 4.5 per cent increase in hospital admissions and a 4.2 per cent increase in patient bed days.
A man was treated for chemical inhalation and taken to hospital this morning.
In a day made for football at the sun-bathed Lavington Sports Club Oval the 2015 Yarrawonga Under 16 Pigeons showed their class with a comprehensive victory in the AWJFL Grand Final against Wodonga.
Tatura and Murchison SES Units were two of 28 Victorian State Emergency Service volunteer units to receive new equipment recently, as part of the annual AAMI equipment handover program.
With no luxury of a double chance available to either of them, Moama coach Simon Maddox and his Tongala counterpart David Newman know that a loss in Sunday’s first semi-final will mean the end of season 2015.
ROCHESTER police say hoon drivers and anyone disobeying road laws should prepare to lose their car.
Young Bombers pull off last quarter comeback to win under-16 premiership.
More news as the Seymour Show edges closer.
Berrigan public decides drainage works location
A THREE-MONTH-OLD girl from Heathcote who died on Sunday night did not have any physical signs of injuries when ambulance arrived, according to police.
Cobram Barooga leaders and tourism operators have welcomed the launch of a new tourism strategy focusing on events, which aims to attract more people to the Murray River.
Cancer claims one of its fiercest combatants.
Water allocations were increased in the Goulburn-Murray Water region today.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.