Nagambie does not have its own ambulance station and residents and health organisations are concerned about the potentially deadly ramifications.CHALPAT SONTI May 28, 2014 3:57am
It has been the same story for several years — Nagambie waits for the Victorian Budget, and doesn’t get any closer to having its own ambulance station.
In the meantime the number of CERT first responder volunteers continues to dwindle, to the point where the service is almost out for the count — and Nagambie residents will be a step closer to being in a desperate situation should they need emergency medical help.
The Telegraph supports the quest for some form of ambulance service in Nagambie, and will call on both sides of politics to make an unequivocal commitment to that in the lead-up to the state election later this year.
After all, it is not asking much, especially as the town’s average age increases with just about every new arrival and the population swells by thousands during summer.
The first cab off the rank in our series is Nagambie Healthcare, the largest health organisation in the town, which here for the first time publicly states its support.
Does someone have to die waiting before this request gets taken seriously?
It’s a point not lost on those who run Nagambie Healthcare.
For them, the solution is simple: the town needs an ambulance service. And they, more than most, should know.
As the CERT first responder group struggles against what looks to be an inevitable demise, the hospital has been sounded out by Ambulance Victoria as a possible replacement.
But as Nagambie Healthcare chief executive Bronwyn Beadle said, there was the same major issue with that as there has been in getting an ambulance into the town — money.
‘‘They came and had a meeting with me to try and promote a service from here,’’ she said.
‘‘They asked if we had staff that could go out and respond, like CERT does.
‘‘It’s a reasonable model in terms of us being able to then attract staff who might want to do that. But there needs to be resources.
‘‘I was supportive of the concept, particularly during the day and there would be benefits around maintaining the skill base of staff, but we’re not a big enough service to have an extra floating staff member on in case there’s an emergency and fund that ourselves.’’
The hospital has put what appears a most generous offer on the table.
It would provide facilities on site for an ambulance should it be based in Nagambie, including office space and accommodation.
‘‘There’s already a demonstrated demand particularly in peak season,’’ Ms Beadle said.
‘‘Then look at the aged-care reforms. As they push for people to remain in their homes as long as possible, there needs to be that frontline primary assessment that an ambulance provides.
‘‘Also with the burden of chronic diseases, the push will be for people to be managed at home and again they need that frontline assessment. And particularly with the cutbacks in emergency departments, they’re not wanting people to go to those.’’
Ms Beadle moved to Nagambie from Gippsland, where a child’s death was the catalyst for an ambulance station in a town of about the same size — and that was in an election year.
She hoped that a decision in the affirmative for Nagambie wouldn’t have to wait for some tragic incident.
The demographic make-up of Nagambie is also skewing higher as most of the recent newcomers have been retirees, another good reason for an ambulance, as Nagambie Healthcare president Jim Tehan — whose late wife Marie was Health Minister in the Kennett Government — pointed out.
‘‘That is my main concern, that this area is going to have more and more older retired people,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s not going to grow with young people, there’s no jobs here for them, and the pressure to have an ambulance is only going to grow and grow as the average age of the community rises.
‘‘Another point is that with so many people working away from town now, CERT is down to five volunteers and that is critical.
‘‘You can’t keep going at that level.’’
They may be small and rare, but they attract hordes of loyal enthusiasts from American chat show hosts to Shepparton car buffs.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs John Geary will attend a memorial for the 3rd Cavalry Regiment (Vietnam) Association.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Up to14 new full-time jobs will be created at Pactum Dairy Group in Shepparton, with the company set to embark on an $18million expansion at its factory.
Photo from Benalla based photographer William Howship taken between 1904 and 1931.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.