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Community opposition to hospital amalgamations

Community opposition to hospital amalgamations

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Jun 14, 2024

ONE of the key players in Yea’s public ‘Hands off our hospital’ campaign, Jan Beer spoke about the potential hospital amalgamations and how troubling they could be for the local community.

“If they’re amalgamating, it’s not just Yea hospital, it’s all the country hospitals that are being amalgamated, this is what they’re proposing up at the health services, into six country regional hubs. That, from our point of view, our hub is intended to be either Shepparton or Epping.

“And we all know that government is … drowning in debt and it’s a cost-cutting exercise. That will mean that, more than likely, we’ll lose the acute care emergency centre in Yea, and because Yea is such a small hospital, it’s only a 10 bed hospital, but it’s crucial to the people in our district.”

Jan voiced her concerns over what the amalgamation of the Yea hospital, and other country hospitals, could mean, and how it would affect residents of Murrindindi Shire.

“They will then, we believe, squeeze funding, so that the allied health services and the hospital then won’t be able to continue, and they’ll have to close.

“That’s a terrible thing to do from the point of view of, not just elderly people, who often don’t have their own car, and rely on public transport, how on earth do they get to Shepparton or Epping? But also we’re basically a farming community, where a lot of accidents always happen.

“And if you don’t have your hospital, and you don’t have your acute care, and you know very well how we’re fogged in for days on end at a time, how do you get a chopper in? And we know what the ramping of ambulances are like, and how it’s difficult to get them quickly.

“I keep saying: people will die if this goes ahead,” Jan said.

The potential economic impacts have been considered by the campaign by studying other examples of introduced amalgamations, and Jan took a moment to address them.

“The other thing is, with all of Yea, Alexandra and Mansfield, particularly I would say Yea and Alexandra, the hospitals are the largest…

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