Hospital budgets cuts

Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Commonwealth funding for Glenelg Shire’s three hospitals has been cut by $342,000 following the mid-year economic update.

Portland District Health (PDH) commonwealth funding has been cut by $257,000 from its original $7.871 million, Casterton Memorial Hospital has been cut $52,000 (From $1.582 million) and Heywood Rural Health cut $33,000 (from $1.006 million) according to the fiscal outlook announced in October by Treasurer Wayne Swann.

PDH Board of Management President Mike Noske said the cuts were based on population modelling done by the Commonwealth Government which predicts population shrinking in the south west despite the recent Census data saying otherwise.

Mr Noske said the hospital had to cut a quarter of a million dollars in six months, “so it is like losing a half million from the annual budget”.

“I would think that the most likely outcome would be a reduction in patient numbers going through the hospital where that will result in a saving in cost”.

“But we’re going to have to look at every level of the organisation just to review everything. Until we have a close look at it I don’t want to comment about what might go.”

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan visited Hamilton and Warrnambool hospitals with shadow minister for health, Peter Dutton last Tuesday to talk with Chief Executives and Mr Noske about the impact.

“We already face significant challenges in providing adequate health care to the people of south west Victoria and this is going to make the situation worse.”

“Hospitals will have to look at the services they offer patients and their contracts with surgeons and nurses.”

Mr Tehan said state wide, $106.7 million was being slashed from Victoria.

STORY BY Huw Cushing, Portland Observer

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