A plan to syphon key elements of Bairnsdale Regional Health Service funding through Latrobe Regional Hospital has prompted local Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, to seek further detail and assurances from the State Government.
“The State has announced what it is terming a ‘formal partnership approach’ between Bairnsdale and Latrobe and last year directed Bairnsdale’s elective surgery catch up funding and Better At Home program funding be allocated to Latrobe for distribution,” said Mr Bull.
“What I am seeking from the Government is that this is not a precedent for more of our local health funding to be put through Latrobe and distributed at their determination, or for any changes to board structures or weakening of our local BRHS governance.
“I have had discussions with leadership of the BRHS this week and they too are seeking some guarantees and certainty around governance and future funding arrangements.”
Mr Bull said that while it was clear hospital amalgamations were being pursued in the western part of the state, he would write to the Health Minister seeking assurances our local health services would remain just that – local.
“I am all for partnerships that bring benefits to our region, but when we start to see out local hospital funding streams being put through our larger regional hospital and issued at their agreement and discretion, it brings forth some concerns that warrant explanation.
“I will continue to liaise and work with our local hospital board to ensure we maintain our local decision making processes and are not disadvantaged by any new funding arrangements.”
“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,” he said.