$5M budget ask to address hospital upgrade shortfall
|A $5 million shortfall to finish the promised upgrade of the Emergency Department and Renal Dialysis Unit at the Victor Harbor Hospital has prompted Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie to send an urgent letter to the Health Minister to seek additional funding in the upcoming budget.
The shortfall came to light following recent discussions with the Country Health SA Local Health Network and the Barossa, Hills and Fleurieu Local Health Network.
“This hospital project is critical to meet the future health needs of our growing population on the South Coast and we need to get the funding to finish the job and to do it properly,” Rebekha said today.
“Back in the 2019 election the Government committed $8.4 million to develop the Southern Fleurieu Health Service (Victor Harbor Hospital) to expand the existing Emergency Department and Renal Dialysis Unit and to upgrade sterilisation services.
“It has now emerged that $8.4 million won’t be enough and we need another $5.12 million.
“I have been in discussions with local health authorities, the State Government and the Federal Government to try and resolve the matter and this week 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 would 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 needs to be finished to the highest standard.
“I call on the Federal Government to urgently consider allocating an additional $5.12 million in the upcoming 2021-22 Federal Budget.”
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