Health Minister Jenny Mikakos’ failure to give any timeline for the much-needed redevelopment of the Warrnambool Base Hospital shows how high on the priority list the region is for the Labor Government, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says.
Mrs Britnell said the Minister has snubbed the community and the hard working nurses and doctors by failing to recognise there is an urgent need for an upgrade at the hospital.
She said it was insulting to the staff and the community that the Minister could not find time to drive an extra 30 minutes from her photo opportunity in Terang last week to visit the hospital.
“One of the first things I did after being re-elected was write to Minister Mikakos and invite her to visit the hospital,” Mrs Britnell said.
“I wrote to her on December 6 – 81 days ago – so far she has completely ignored that letter.
“I want her to see for herself the cramped and completely inadequate facilities our nurses and doctors are working in – particularly the emergency department and operating theaters.
“When she sees how cramped those areas are and then looks at the figures showing demand for these services – she might get an idea of how much pressure she is putting on our nurses and doctors.”
Mrs Britnell said the Andrews Labor Government has dragged its feet on this issue for the past four years.
“It’s all well and good to have plans drawn up – but they are useless without government funding to get on and rebuild the hospital,” she said.
“Extra nursing staff is also great, but the hospital needs adequate facilities for them to work in and to be able to cope with ever increasing demand.
“The Minister must visit and must make this redevelopment a project a priority. Demand for services at the hospital is increasing year-on-year, but the facilities are not built to cope with the amount of people now visiting the hospital for treatment.”