The impact of this year’s Federal Budget on health provision in Lalor will be dramatic. Our community has a bulk billing rate of 92%, one of the highest in the country. This means local families and pensioners will need to find an additional $11million per annum to pay for the GP co-payment and associated health costs.
The previous Labor Government invested in health, across Australia and in this area. We funded a $15million GP super clinic in Wyndham Vale, a Headspace centre , approximately 1000 new aged care beds and over half a million for healthy communities funding.
The Werribee Mercy hospital received additional operational money, $11million to establish a clinical school & teaching facility and $28million to build the new sub-acute and rehab centre.
The Mercy Hospital delivers great service to our local community. They have a strong vision for the future of Health provision in our area.
Wyndham’s population is about to reach 200,000. The number of households is expected to double by 2030. The Werribee Mercy was established when the population was estimated to reach around 80,000-90,000. At the time the local community hospital was the correct service for the area and despite this huge growth in population, it serves us well …. But for how much longer?
Mercy Health in Werribee has an extremely well trained and dedicated staff; some of the top experts in Victoria choose to work at this service.
But this Budget makes their task so much harder. Not only is there no new money to fund for growth, it cuts expected operation funding. This will have an immediate impact. This reduction in funding has the potential to put the our brand new sub-acute and rehab facility under threat of closure.
How can the Government be so short sighted? Labor was committed to improving health outcomes, this current government only wants to deliver cuts.
Mercy Health has undertaken detailed planning for carefully staged masterplan. They take the provision of health care very seriously and their plans are based on sensible well targeted needs. In the past the Labor Government has worked with this service to fund growth.
I plan to work closely with Mercy Health to ensure the Abbott Government hears loud and clear what the health services needs are for my electorate.