Ryan calls for Labor to commit to Rushworth hospital co-location
13 February 2015
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan has condemned the Andrews Labor Government for failing to commit much needed funding for health and aged care in Rushworth.
In Parliament this week, Ms Ryan called on the Andrews Labor Government to deliver the $7 million required for the co-location and upgrade of the Waranga Memorial Hospital and Waranga Aged Care Hostel at Rushworth, as promised by the previous Coalition Government.
Ms Ryan said the existing hospital no longer met contemporary standards and an upgrade was critical.
“Daniel Andrews has claimed health as his number one priority so I was disappointed Labor snubbed the Rushworth community by refusing to commit to this project before the election,” Ms Ryan said.
“The current hospital building is more than 50 years old and in very poor condition, requiring high levels of ongoing maintenance at significant cost.
“The isolated location of the building and proximity to the Rushworth state forest also poses significant safety issues including the threat of fire and safety concerns for staff working alone on weekends and during night shifts,” Ms Ryan said.
The proposed co-location would see the Waranga Medical Centre and Waranga Aged Care Hostel extended to accommodate existing and additional primary care and community health services.
In addition the Waranga Aged Care Hostel would be refurbished and extended to create a 40 bed facility, achieving a mix of acute, palliative care and aged care beds.
“Goulburn Valley Health, the Rushworth hospital committee and local community members have fought hard for the co-location and upgrade and I fully support the project,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said she had also written to Health Minister Jill Hennessy to request her support for the project.
“It is vital that the healthcare needs of the people living in rural and regional Victoria are taken seriously.
“I will continue to push for the Labor Government to commit to this important project,” Ms Ryan said.