Health | April 13, 2021
Kealy launches hospital amalgamation petition
The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy is urging residents to have their say about a proposed amalgamation between Wimmera Health Care Group and Ballarat Health Services.
Ms Kealy has launched a petition against the move after the Minister for Health declined an invitation to visit Horsham to hear first-hand the community’s concerns about the proposed amalgamation.
“My office continues to be inundated with emails and phone calls from local residents about this issue, with 100 per cent of these against the proposed amalgamation,” Ms Kealy said.
“The primary concern is that amalgamation will lead to significant job losses and a loss of local control over services that residents have fought for and raised money for over many decades.
“While the minister is saying it is not a political decision, we know that amalgamations are happening across the state and that it is Labor government policy to amalgamate country health services.
“It is critical that the minister comes to Horsham to listen to local people and understand the overwhelming consensus that people want to keep their health services local and do not want their local hospital to merge with Ballarat.”
Ms Kealy said whether the problem was funding, infrastructure, insufficient clinical staff and specialists or recruitment, amalgamation was not the solution.
“Locals are smart enough to see that promises of more services, more doctors, more money and better infrastructure can be achieved without having to hand control of our hospital to Ballarat,” she said.
“All of these problems can only be fixed by intervention through government policy and funding that supports rural and regional hospitals and their local communities, not their amalgamation into large hospitals located hundreds of kilometres away.
“The Andrews Labor Government must address the funding model for public hospitals and inject the capital funding needed to give staff at the Wimmera Health Care Group the infrastructure that they need to support the highly qualified staff to do their job the best way they can.
“The minister must come to Horsham to listen to the concerns of Wimmera people and put an immediate end to Labor’s coordinated statewide actions to amalgamate country hospitals.”
Ms Kealy is urging all local residents to sign the petition, which is available at a number of retail outlets in Horsham, by visiting Ms Kealy’s electoral office at 114 Firebrace Street, Horsham, or by clicking here.
Businesses wanting to have the petition available for customers to sign are encouraged to contact Ms Kealy’s electoral office on (03) 53820097 or email [email protected]
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