Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Numurkah hospital boost

The opening of an interim emergency department at Numurkah hospital on Friday is set to provide the flood-affected community with stability.

KAITLIN THALS November 14, 2012 4:20am

Numurkah hospital temporary emergency centre registered nurse Jisha Jose, ward clerk Barb Crawford and unit manager Catherine Small in the new building yesterday.

The opening of an interim emergency department at Numurkah hospital will provide long-awaited stability and further care to the community.

Victorian Health Minister David Davis will officially open the building on Friday.

The hospital had been operating out of tents in the car park since March floods inundated the Numurkah District Health Service complex, causing it to close.

The Ambulance Victoria emergency facilities served Numurkah and district for seven months — longer than any other assignment.

Chief executive Jacque Phillips said once open the new demountable buildings, constructed in Shepparton, would provide a better and more secure environment for staff and patients.

She said the emergency centre would have two emergency bays, four observation beds and a single private room.

Radiology services would return, meaning people could have X-rays performed and assessed locally. Also, people under observation would be able to remain in the emergency centre for longer.

‘‘People can be triaged, assessed and a treatment plan put in place with the doctor and registered nurses,’’ Ms Phillips said.

‘‘(In some cases) we won’t be able to keep people here because of certain medical conditions — which was the same as pre-floods and like any small rural health service.’’

Ms Phillips said while there was no definite time frame for when the hospital would reopen, two years would be a reasonable estimation.

The tent hospital treated about 1075 patients since the March floods made Numurkah hospital uninhabitable.

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