Hospital services

Long-awaited plan for Albury-Wodonga hospital services may not be available to the community | border mail

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A master plan for future hospital operations in Albury-Wodonga may remain secret, despite the expectation that it will be made public. Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley’s office declined to answer questions from Border Mail about when the plan would be released for the community to consider. The plan is treated as an internal planning document and therefore will generally not be made public. This is at odds with Albury Wodonga Health which promotes the status of the plan on its website and states “we look forward to sharing further updates with you as the situation progresses”. The plan considers whether a new hospital should be built on an existing AWH site or elsewhere. Benambra MP Bill Tilley said it should not be hidden from the public. “This is a community document that should be available to everyone in Albury-Wodonga, just as it was for the Royal Melbourne masterplan, the new Footscray Hospital and Bendigo,” he said. The need to bolster services and pressures on current facilities was highlighted this week with an internal emergency, known as Code Yellow, declared after high demand in hospital emergency departments in Albury and from Wodonga. Mr Foley was asked his response to Code Yellow, a spokesman responded by attacking the opposition. “You can’t trust the Liberals with our hospitals in Wodonga or anywhere in Victoria,” he said. “When they were last in government they cut funding to regional hospitals, cut services and laid off staff and they will do it again if they get the chance.” together with NSW we provide an improved and expanded emergency service and short stay unit. Mr Tilley fired back. ‘Blaming the Liberals is pathetic, Labor has been in government for 18 of the last 22 years when the only one putting money into Albury Wodonga Health is a New Wales Liberal government from the South,” he said. “To claim that the emergency department is proof of their commitment is a disgrace, New South Wales has invested $30m in this project, Victoria $6m. “The New South Wales money has been in the Victorian Treasury for two years and we still haven’t seen a word of this project.” Master plan now. Indian MP Helen Haines said the code yellow proved the need for a new hospital. of our health at the border,” she said. “A new hospital is desperately needed, but it is only the first step. “We need real solutions to the shortage of health workers and our housing crisis to ensure that we have both the facilities and the workforce that we need.” To read more stories, download The Border Mail news app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: