Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
East Gippsland’s six Bush Nursing Centres will be handed a funding lifeline to continue providing quality health care services, if the Liberal Nationals are elected next month.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the Ensay, Swifts Creek, Buchan, Gelantipy, Cann Valley and Dargo BNCs would each receive $10,000 per year for two years, while a review will be undertaken to inform the development of a flexible funding and delivery model for the services.
“The recurrent funding model of bush nursing centres from this city-centric Labor Government has not changed to keep pace with the growth in their services, with many running on the smell of an oily rag,” Mr Bull said.
“They do an exceptional job with reasonably limited resources, but are not funded in the same manner as large public hospitals and do not have the same opportunities to raise additional funds.
“We have received a number of representations from BNCs about their viability in recent months, which makes the need for additional funding paramount,” he said.
Ensay BNC committee member Barry Newcomen said: “To Ensay in particular, additional funding will mean the ongoing existence of the bush nurse.”
“A bush nurse is a vital part of our community, particularly given we are an ageing community, and having had discussions with Tim about our viability in the past, it is pleasing the Liberal Nationals have offered their support,” he said.
Shadow Minister for Country Health Emma Kealy said the Andrews Labor Government had abandoned BNCs, refusing to provide adequate recurrent funding despite its recent changes to the nurses EBA that’s pushed up costs and left centres with no choice but to reduce services or cut back nursing hours.
Mr Bull said there were 15 BNCs across Victoria operating as community-based, not-for-profit organisations governed by boards of management.
Caption: The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the Ensay, Swifts Creek, Buchan, Gelantipy, Cann Valley and Dargo Bush Nursing Centres would receive a funding lifeline under a Liberal Nationals Government.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018