Health | June 21, 2024

Support sought to prevent loss of regional health voices

Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Member for Lowan Emma Kealy is seeking the support of Lowan residents through a petition calling on the Allan Labor Government to keep its hands off regional hospitals and drop plans for mega-mergers.

The online petition has been launched following confirmation from the Minister for Health that at least 20 health services across Victoria will have their funding slashed – reportedly by up to 30 per cent – leaving many of the impacted services with no choice but to cut front line services.

The confirmation of the funding cuts follows plans in a secret Health Service Plan that involves mergers of health services across the state.

Speaking in Parliament this week, Ms Kealy said the creation of Grampians Health, which merged four health services in the Lowan electorate, had already led to cuts to vital programs including cancelling the Edenhope dental service and cutting Horsham’s community rehabilitation exercise program.

Ms Kealy said she was aware of more hospitals in Lowan that will be impacted by these significant funding cuts, with management desperately trying to work out how they'll make the required savings.

"It will either mean job cuts or services reductions, and most likely both,” Ms Kealy said.

“Our local emergency departments are already struggling to meet demand, and in many cases failing to meet key performance targets, and the idea that reducing funding would have anything other than a detrimental impact is insulting."

Ms Kealy said Labor’s priorities are all wrong and regional Victorians are paying the price.

“Premier Jacinta Allan can find the money for a $200 billion train line in Melbourne but goes missing when asked to find the money to keep local health services up and running.

“Why do vulnerable and sick Victorians have to pay the price because Labor cannot manage money?” 

Those wanting to sign the petition can do so online at



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