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Large protest in support of Yea hospital

Large protest in support of Yea hospital

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Jun 28, 2024

OVER 400 people braved the cold to attend the Save the Yea Hospital meeting at the Yea Shire Hall on the morning of Saturday, June 22.

The hall filled up very quickly prior to the event, and 70 to 80 people had to stand outside the venue for the duration.

One of the people who had stood outside commented afterward, “I don’t know how people got in. They must have slept in there overnight.”

The meeting was held to provide information to the Yea community on the possible amalgamation of regional hospitals under six boards, as well as budget cuts.

It’s believed that Yea and District Memorial Hospital (YDMH) will be subject to a 30 per cent budget cut in the next financial year.

Neil Beer emceed the event, which was broadcast live by UGFM. He said that the Health Minister and Premier were both apologies for the event.

He also spoke about how much the community had contributed to the hospital.

Neil said on Saturday that the Save the Yea Hospital petition has 3648 signatures, with more to be collected. The petitions are widely available.

Mayor Damien Gallagher spoke about the shire’s health statistics and how the loss of the hospital would have an affect on the entire community.

He compared the amalgamation situation to Lake Mountain being added to Alpine Resorts Victoria, resulting in the mountain being closed two days per week.

“Please look after the little guy,” he said.

He also spoke about the need for the hospital during disasters, such as Black Saturday and the recent flooding events. He also noted that the control centre for the flood was in Shepparton and that the emergency warnings came through too late as a result.

He said that Murrindindi Shire have been pleading with the minister, “No more gags, no more secrets. We want to work with you.”

Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish compared the hospital situation with its “secretive process and pretend consultations” to the Future of the Central Highlands forests consultation.

She also noted that there is no easy public transport to the Shepparton Hospital, should this become the central hub, and asked whether ambulances would continue to take people to metropolitan Melbourne after an amalgamation.

She also asked what would happen to the acute services offered by YDMH.

Judy Hard from the hospital auxiliary spoke about the history of the hospital, which opened in 1958, and about the funds raised for the hospital by the local community. She added, “It’s up to…

Image: Attendees at the Save the Yea Hospital meeting voting on the resolutions.

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