A plan to merge Mildura Base Public Hospital under the Bendigo Health service must not go ahead.
Local people are being asked to add their names to a petition pressuring the Labor Government to get its hands off our regional hospitals.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh was in Mildura today to launch the local petition to save the community’s service from Labor’s plan to force it to amalgamate with Bendigo Health under “a formal partnership approach”.
Mr Walsh said a stand-alone health service was a critical foundation of any regional community, but particularly for Mildura.
“Labor is taking the ‘local’ out of local hospitals to create mega-hospitals controlled by the bureaucracy and dominated by the larger regional cities,” Mr Walsh said.
“Far from delivering better services, hospital mergers mean longer waiting lists, loss of local control, increased travel to get the treatment you deserve and local job losses.
“For a town like Mildura which is located hours from the nearest health services, it couldn’t be more important to have a stand-alone service focused on delivering world-class care that meets the unique health needs of its local region.”
Whether the problem is funding, infrastructure, insufficient clinical staff and specialists or recruitment, Mr Walsh said amalgamation was not the solution.
“If Daniel Andrews and Labor thought this was a good idea, they wouldn’t be keeping it secret from Victorians,” Mr Walsh said.
“The primary concern is that amalgamation will lead to significant job losses and a loss of local control over services that residents have fought for and raised money for over many decades.
“While the Health Minister might say it’s not a political decision, we know that amalgamations are happening across the state and that it’s Labor government policy to amalgamate country health services.
“If we learned anything from the COVID pandemic, it’s that centralised health systems are not effective – local people need to be able to deliver local solutions for better local health outcomes.”
Sign the petition at www.handsoffourhospitals.com.au