Stawell Hospital's budget set to increase

STAWELL - Stawell Regional Health is set to be among the big winners following the release of annual budgets by the State Government.

Health Minister David Davis said Stawell Regional Health would receive $14.358 million in the next year, up by $362,000, or 2.6 per cent, on the funding allocation for 2011/12.

Mr Davis said the recurrent funding for Stawell Regional Health has increased by $965,000, or 7.2 per cent, since the 2010/11 year, when the Baillieu Government came into office.

Releasing details of the funding allocations for the State’s public hospitals and health services, Mr Davis said they could look to the future with confidence and certainty.

“The Baillieu Government is committed to a high performing health system that is accountable, sustainable and responsive to people’s needs,” Mr Davis said.

Stawell Regional Health chief executive officer, Rohan Fitzgerald, said he was delighted with the increase in funding for the organisation.

“I am very pleased that Stawell Regional Health is the recipient of additional funding from the Victorian State Government,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“I am pleased the Victorian Government has shown further commitment to rural health and this additional funding will help to secure rural services well into the future for Stawell and surrounding district.

“It is important that funding continues to be provided to rural health services such as Stawell, as it will go some way towards achieving better health outcoimes for the wider region.”

Mr Davis said overall, hospital funding had increased by $601.66 million, or eight per cent since 2010/11, when the Baillieu Coalition Government came into office.

He said the Government was also providing $5.48 million to bush nursing hospitals and centres as part of the boost to help them provide a range of services to public patients - an increase of two per cent from 2011/12.

The bottom line operating budgets exclude capital funding and non-recurrent expenditure.

Mr Davis said despite severe financial challenges, which include Commonwealth’s cuts to Victoria’s GST share and now the introduction of the carbon tax, the State Government funding will help to build a healthier Victoria and provide greater transparency.

“The funding boost will enable our hospitals to continue to treat record patient numbers,” Mr Davis said.

“Our ongoing funding will enable hospitals to carry out the Baillieu Government’s vision for the State’s public health system, contained in the Victorian Health Priorities Framework 2012-2022 and the Metropolitan Health Plan.

“This will put strategic long-term health and hospital services across the State on a firmer and more rational footing.

“We are improving our health system by increasing transparency and hospital budgets, so that the community can have confidence that hospitals are in a position to maintain the standards and efficiency which we expect to meet the needs of patients.”

Hospitals to benefit from the funding boost include Southern Health, up by $42.52 million to $961.65 million; Northern Health, up by $21.1 million to $285.47 million; and Eastern Health, up by $31.83 million to $599.72 million.

East Grampians Health Service will receive $17.076 million, up by $844,000, or 5.2 per cent, on the funding allocation for 2011/12.

Mr Davis said the $5.48 million provided by the Government to bush nursing hospitals and centres - mainly private or community-owned facilities funded through private health insurance - would help provide services to public patients.

“These bush nursing facilities provide an important service to many of our smaller and more remote rural communities,” Mr Davis said.

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