After being serviced by a tent facility since the town's hospital was flooded in March, Numurkah residents now have an interim Urgent Care Centre to go to when they need treatment.By Kaitlin Thals
Victorian Health Minister David Davis yesterday reassured the Numurkah community the government was committed to reinstating Numurkah and District Health Service.
Mr Davis made the announcement at the interim Urgent Care Centre official opening, which opened its doors to patients yesterday.
A small crowd of elderly community members, hospital staff, council members and politicians gathered beside the interim building for the opening.
Just seven months ago the hospital was operating out of tents in the carpark with limited resources, after floodwater inundated Numurkah District Health Service complex, causing it to close.
Yesterday, Mr Davis said the interim emergency department was a step towards reinstating the hospital.
‘‘The interim facility will ensure the continued provision of high-quality urgent care, acute and clinical bed-based services to the people of Numurkah .
‘‘I can assure you that we are concentrating very closely on returning a full hospital to your town.’’
Hospital chief executive Jacque Phillips yesterday welcomed the new facility and said it was the next step towards post-flood recovery.
‘‘With this interim facility we can actually look after patients in our own town again,’’ Ms Phillips said.
‘‘Even though it’s a short-stay facility, at least we can keep people for a bit longer and provide a better and more secure environment for patients and staff.’’
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.
It is expected the interim facility, made up of portable buildings, will be in place for about two years.
Numurkah local for more than 60 years, John Scott, said while he made use of the tent facility post-floods, and was pleased the portable facility would replace it.
‘‘Hopefully we don’t have to make use of this one, anything was good, but this is so much better. We look forward to our complete new hospital,’’ Mr Scott said.
‘‘It will be very good if we can come here on the ambulance and not have to go over there (Shepparton),’’ wife, Betty Major added.
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