LOCAL MLA Danny O’Brien toured South Gippsland Hospital last Thursday, the guest of hospital CEO Peter Rushen and the hospital board, represented by board member Paul Ahern.
It was the first visit to the hospital by Mr O’Brien since he succeeded Peter Ryan as the Member for Gippsland South this time last year.
Mr Rushen said, “This is a large electorate to get around and we appreciate Mr O’Brien making the time to visit us.
“With a relatively large catchment area and complex acute and primary health care needs, we welcome the opportunity to discuss issues facing small rural hospitals like ours.
“In particular, I’d like to highlight the contribution to key health services and medical equipment our community is stepping in to assist us with in a time of decreasing government funding.”
Mr Rushen and Mr Ahern took the opportunity to apprise Mr O’Brien of the hospital’s plans for expansion and ask for any assistance he can give them.
Plans have been drawn up – so the project is effectively “shovel-ready” – for an expanded day procedure and recovery area and an expansion to the maternity area. The estimated cost of the building works is $2.1 million.
After touring the hospital, including the day procedure and recovery area, Mr O’Brien said that he could see the need for the improvements.
“It certainly sounds like a good project for what is a strongly supported hospital, key to the health precinct, in the Corner Inlet area.
“I’ll be agitating to ensure we can get funding provided in the future.”
Mr O’Brien promised to write to the Victorian Health Minister, the Hon. Jill Hennessy, on behalf of the hospital and to pass on any response.