$5 million budget win to finish hospital upgrade
The Victor Harbor Hospital has secured the extra $5.1 million it needs to finish much-needed upgrades to its Emergency Department and Renal Dialysis Unit thanks to the advocacy of local Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie.
The funding was included in today’s Federal Budget and follows meetings between health officials and the Member for Mayo who sent an urgent letter to the Health Minister last month seeking the additional money.
“I am so pleased that the Government has listened to our community and allocated the additional $5 million needed to finish their promised upgrades to the Southern Fleurieu Health Service, otherwise known as the Victor Harbor hospital,” Rebekha said today.
“Back in 2019, the Government promised $8.4 million to expand the existing Emergency Department and Renal Dialysis Unit and to upgrade sterilisation services.
“It came to light during recent discussions with the Country Health SA Local Health Network and the Barossa, Hills and Fleurieu Local Health Network that $8.4 million wasn’t going to be enough to finish the job and do it properly.
“I held talks with local health authorities, the State Government, and the Federal Government to try and resolve the matter and last month I sent a letter to the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, to formally ask him to set aside that $5 million to complete the project.
“I would like to thank the State and Federal Governments for their co-operation in this matter.
“This hospital serves a growing population of more than 37,000 people, and we have a significantly higher proportion of older persons on the South Coast and Fleurieu Peninsula when compared with South Australian averages.
“More than a third of our residents are aged over 65, and the South Coast is growing rapidly with a projected population increase of 18 per cent over the next 15 years.”
Securing the funding will allow the Southern Fleurieu Health Service to expand the Renal Dialysis Unit from four to six dialysis chairs and the unit would be located in the space vacated by the Emergency Department which is moving to upgraded premises.
“Increasing the number of dialysis chairs is expected to meet the projected regional demand for dialysis until 2030,” Rebekha said.
“The hospital is also the primary location for sterilisation and repurposing of medical devices and equipment for health practitioners and an SA Health audit has determined that it needs urgent upgrading to meet current standards.
“This is an important health project and it needed to be finished to the highest standard.
“I thank the Federal Government for allocating an additional $5.1 million in the 2021-22 Federal Budget.”