Local Issues Health

Adjournment - Swan Hill District Health

Tuesday 11th October 2016

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) — (11 775) My adjournment issue tonight is for the Minister for Health, and it is in regard to a funding application for $2.6 million from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund for a hospice at the Swan Hill District Health hospital. To my understanding the application was submitted back in May. It is also my understanding that decisions are now being made with a view to November announcements in relation to this particular fund. I ask the minister to include funding for the Swan Hill hospice project in November when funding announcements are made.

Recently I met with Gaynor Heywood, Loretta Belton and chair Michael Crowe of the Swan Hill hospice committee to discuss ways of progressing the funding needed for a hospice in Swan Hill. Many on the Swan Hill hospice committee have personal experience of the need for palliative care services for their own families and they are passionately committed to having a hospice service at the hospital in Swan Hill for the future.

The total cost of subacute care is $2.8 million to convert an upstairs part of the old extended care unit into a hospice area, including the two hospice beds. The Swan Hill hospice committee has already raised $200 000 towards that particular project, which is a great effort by the community through a very dedicated group that has had a lot of community support in raising that money.

The building of the new 45‑bed Logan Lodge aged‑care facility at the hospital has freed up space in the old external care unit to enable the hospice to be put in. One of the pleasing things about the Logan Lodge project is that it has come in $1.3 million under budget. If that money was relocated to the hospice project, only $1.3 million in new money from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund would be needed to reach the total application amount of $2.6 million.

I ask that the minister reprioritises the money so that it goes back in and finds the additional $1.3 million to make up a $2.6 million fund for the building of a hospice in Swan Hill, a service and a project that is very worthy. The community has fought very hard to raise their share of the money so far, and I ask the minister to look favourably at funding that project.


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