Member for Benambra Bill Tilley fears for the future of Walwa’s Bush Nursing Centre as Labor continues to sit on its hands over funding shortfalls.

New accreditation standards and EBA negotiations are creating a financial blackhole for these centres across the state.

This week Labor refused to answer Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier’s questions on why they would not provide adequate funding for Bush Nursing Centres and did not rule out their closures.

Despite more than two years of advocacy from Leading Age Services Victoria, Daniel Andrews and his Melbourne-centric government have refused repeated request for urgently needed support.

Mr Tilley said they were simply being fed crumbs in a move orchestrated to bring about their demise.

“They were thrown some money last year to meet the new standards knowing full well that they neither have the surplus staff to do the work nor would the money pay for someone to relocate to a place like Walwa,” he said.

“So they fail accreditation and the result is they are forced to amalgamate or partner with major players such as Albury Wodonga Health, 100kms away.

“In terms of new EBA,  the formula is designed for Bush Nursing Hospitals and simply doesn’t address the challenges faced by these centres, like Walwa.

“I fear the push is aimed to industrialize and centralise the workforce.”

Walwa Bush Nursing Centre provides a range of services including, among other things, a general practitioner, pharmacy, meals on wheels, palliative care and emergency after hours support.

“Without Walwa, people would be forced into a 100km round trip for a GP or a prescription, let alone all the other services they provide,” Mr Tilley said.

“If Daniel Andrews and Labor truly cared about health outcomes in regional and rural Victoria, they would immediately provide the Bush Nursing Centres across Victoria with the funding they urgently need.”


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