Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, met with BRHS CEO, Therese Tierney to discuss an additional $500,000 in State funds to boost the hospitals response to those presenting to the emergency department with drug and alcohol issues.
Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) will receive a $500,000 boost to help its emergency department better respond to patients affected by alcohol and drugs, such as ice, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today.
BRHS is one of six hospitals to receive the funding, which is part of the Coalition’s record $165 million in funding for alcohol and drug programs in the 2014-15 Budget.
The initiative builds on the successful $12 million in funding announced in the 2012-13 Budget, which provided 21 health services, including six regional health services, with additional resources to respond to alcohol and drug-affected patients.
Mr Bull said that the local emergency department would now decide which new resources will best suit the needs of the local East Gippsland community, which could include hiring a new specialised alcohol and drug specialist or additional training for existing staff.
“BRHS is one of the local health service providers that is first point of contact for those affected by substance abuse, so it is important we have trained staff to deal with affected patients,” he said.
BRHS CEO, Therese Tierney, said we are thrilled to receive this grant as it will help us improve our response to people who present to our emergency department (ED) under the influence of drugs such as "ice" or alcohol.
“Like many regional ED’s we face some very challenging behaviours but our main concern is that the people presenting receive care that improves the quality of their lives.
“We will be working with drug and alcohol workers from Gippsland Lakes Community Health and Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative, the Police and Ambulance Victoria to develop a plan that will improve the coordination of care between the agencies. We hope that this will reduce the incidents of people needing emergency care but if they do need this care we have better skills and resources to manage them while they are in crisis and beyond,” she said.
Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge, said that the new funding was part of a $34 million package in the 2014-15 Budget, which will address the harms of ice and other drugs in the community and provide treatment for an additional 2,000 Victorians.
The funding will also complement a range of other initiatives announced by the Coalition Government to improve safety in Victoria’s hospitals, including:
• More than $40 million for safety and security initiatives in hospitals across the State, including training, capital improvements and upgrading duress and security systems;
• New laws introduced to Parliament in June increasing the sentence for seriously assaulting an emergency department doctor or nurse to a minimum of six months;
• Further reforms introduced into Parliament recently creating a minimum six month sentence for serious assaults against all hospital staff.
“The Napthine Government knows it is critical that we invest now so Victorians across the state can access appropriate treatment and support for alcohol and drug problems, as well as make the emergency department a safer place for patients and staff,” Ms Wooldridge said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, met with BRHS CEO, Therese Tierney to discuss an additional $500,000 in State funds to boost the hospitals response to those presenting to the emergency department with drug and alcohol issues.