Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Call for Shepparton medical facility

A television report into funding uncertainty at a Melbourne clinic that treats perinatal depression has highlighted the urgent need for a Shepparton facility, a city doctor has said.

JOHN LEWIS April 4, 2014 5:57am

Shepparton pediatrician Dr Peter Eastaugh said Wednesday night’s 7.30 report on ABC TV into funding issues at Melbourne’s Tweddle Clinic showed how vital the centre had become for rural parents of young children battling depression. The Melbourne mother-and-baby clinic focuses on families in Victoria’s north and west.

The 7.30 report said the service was under threat because of a lack of state and federal government commitment to the five-year $85 million National Perinatal Depression Initiative.

Dr Eastaugh estimated about 180 women and 60 men suffered perinatal depression each year in Shepparton.

He said Shepparton families were referred to the Tweddle Clinic because of limited resources in the Goulburn Valley.

‘‘We have Tweddle as part of our partnership because they (Goulburn Valley Health) cannot accommodate our need. They (Tweddle) also offer a huge support and knowledge base,’’ Dr Eastaugh said.

He again hit out at Goulburn Valley Health for not supporting the plan for a parent child unit — as published in last Friday’s News.

‘‘Goulburn Valley Health has failed to support this despite it being approved by the board of management,’’ Dr Eastaugh said.

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