Opinion

Letter to the Editor

By Reader Contributed

GV Health facts detailed

We held the positions of chair and deputy chair of the board of Goulburn Valley Health from August, 2013, until June last year. A focus of the board under our leadership was the redevelopment of the GV Health hospital in Shepparton.

Up until 2013, successive GVH boards had made significant efforts to redevelop the hospital but met with little success.

Our board decided to take a start-from-scratch approach.

The advice from the Department of Health was simple — get the data together to demonstrate the need and get strong commitment from the local community for the project.

Over a period of about two years, in-depth studies on the health needs of the Goulburn Valley were completed. This work resulted in a Department of Health-supported service plan which was then the foundation of the development of the master plan for the GVH Hospital.

This was a significant work by a huge number of managers and staff of GVH and well supported by the Department of Health.

The community support for the redevelopment was articulated by the Committee for Shepparton and the Greater Shepparton City Council which both had the GVH redevelopment as the No.1 priority for capital funding for the 2014 Victorian election and GVH was the highest priority for Department of Health regional capital works.

Before the 2014 election, the Napthine coalition government committed $75million to begin the redevelopment. The funding of $170million by the Andrews Government was also to get the project started as at the time this figure was about half of the cost of the complete redevelopment. There remains no commitment to complete the job.

In The News on October 2, the State Member for Shepparton claims the credit for obtaining the funding for the GVH redevelopment was a result of her targeted political lobbying.

That claim, without giving due recognition to the long-term plans and detailed work completed by the many people, including the leadership provided by the executive and staff of GVH, the Committee for Shepparton and the council, is disingenuous.

Peter F Ryan, Bill Parsons, Shepparton