Health | April 27, 2021

Campaign launched to save Wimmera hospitals from amalgamation

A plan to merge a number of Wimmera hospitals under the Ballarat Health Service must not go ahead.

Local people are being asked to add their names to a new petition pressuring the Labor Government to get its hands off our regional hospitals.

Ms Kealy, together with her National Party colleagues, has today launched the ‘Hands Off Our Hospital’ campaign to save local hospital services from Labor’s plan to force them to amalgamate with Ballarat Health Services under “a formal partnership approach”.

Ms Kealy said a stand-alone health service was a critical foundation of any regional community, but particularly for the Wimmera.

“Labor is taking the ‘local’ out of local hospitals to create mega-hospitals controlled by the bureaucracy and dominated by the larger regional cities,” Ms Kealy said.

“Far from delivering better services, hospital mergers mean longer waiting lists and increased travel to get the treatment you need and deserve.”

Whether the problem is funding, infrastructure, insufficient clinical staff and specialists or recruitment, Ms Kealy said amalgamation was not the solution.

“The primary concern is that amalgamation will lead to significant local job losses and a loss of local control over services that residents have fought for and raised money for over many decades.

“While some community members have thought this is a targeted approach locally, it is actually part of Labor’s statewide campaign to amalgamate country health services.

“The Health Minister might say it’s not a political decision, but we know that amalgamations are happening across the state and that it’s Labor government policy.

“If we learned anything from the COVID pandemic, it’s that centralised health systems are not effective – local people need to be able to deliver local solutions for better local health outcomes.”

Sign the petition at

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