We are writing in response to the motion of no confidence passed by the Northern Grampians Shire Council on Monday, August 7.
While we are disappointed with the outcome of the Council meeting, it will not deter us from growing the health care services at Stawell.
Grampians Health acknowledges that access to health care in rural areas is an issue that needs attention, and we are fully committed to expanding services and finding practical solutions to address this problem.
Grampians Health was established to bring about a new capacity to rural health. It requires a sustained effort over time, and we are dedicated to making progress.
Already the changes made at Stawell are creating new capacity - from new nursing careers and fee-free access to urgent care, to higher standards in nursing home care or an expanded range of medical services - our actions are already producing positive outcomes.
We know that change is hard and slow, but we know the community needs and wants more.
We hope that the Council gets what they need from the motion and that we can continue to jointly serve the Stawell community in a progressive and positive way.
We would also ask everyone to continue to respect our healthcare heroes.
Our staff are amazing, and they deserve our continued acknowledgement for their efforts.
Motions such as was passed can incite negative comments toward staff, and those actions are completely unacceptable.
There are effective avenues for raising concerns and asking questions about Grampians Health which we are committed to responding to, and which should be utilised for the benefit of everyone involved.
The Stawell hospital has a rich history and an even greater future.
Greater training and staff opportunities create the base for an expanded range of clinical services.
We appreciate that this progress may challenge some, but the health of our community and barriers to accessing health care dictate that change is both wanted and needed.
Bill Brown (board chair) and Dale Fraser (chief executive)
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