Opinion

Report details GV Health need

By Shepparton News

The new report into the Stage 2 development of Goulburn Valley Health is a timely and much-needed document.

Our applause must go to the Committee for Greater Shepparton for firstly providing the time and funds for the compilation of this valuable information.

Secondly, the report’s release is perfectly timed in the run-up to the state election of November 24.

Shepparton candidates now have a little more than six weeks to consider the figures contained within the report’s 26 pages.

This is the first time members of the public have had a chance to examine in any detail exactly what is needed to bring our health facilities up to scratch.

It is a regrettable situation that has led to the research and publication of the C4GS report.

A GV Health stage 2 masterplan has already been developed but for unexplained reasons this has languished at government department level and has not been made available to the public.

However as we head into the territory of a state election, the need for reliable data and projected requirements becomes vital if we are to place the important issue of the cost of adequate health care on the agenda for politicians to consider.

The consultant’s report states that in the absence of the official Stage 2 masterplan, its researchers have compiled information by assessing like projects developed in other regional areas.

Nevertheless it quotes from a 2015-16 Public Hospital Audit which noted that after completion of the Stage 1 redevelopment, GV Health ‘‘will have to use aged equipment because the funding for the redevelopment will not be enough to replace all of the existing medical equipment’’.

Six weeks out from a state election, now is the time to consider what needs to be replaced and what the cost might be.

The report’s projected costs of adequate funding for Stage 2 of the GV Health works are anywhere between $272million and $374million.

This figure, however loose it may be, and the contents of the report can now be used as discussion points and targets for the major parties, and our incumbent independent candidate, to consider.

The torch has been lit, the race is on, and we will be watching with interest when and how runners take up the baton to deliver the second stage of the Goulburn Valley Health development.