We know about the plan for opening up the economy as vaccination rates climb, but we need to know about targeted longer term plans for our rural health services.
I have met with the leaders of health services across the North East. From Wodonga and Wangaratta to Benalla and Mansfield and Alexandra, I have been listening to how they are preparing for the next phase of the pandemic.
I have enormous confidence in the work of our local health services. But I am concerned that they are fatigued as this pandemic has put a huge additional strain on already stretched regional health services. Staff have taken on many additional duties and health services have had to reconfigure wards and workflow to accommodate COVID 19 precautions and presentations.
We need a plan that includes scaled up funding and support for regional health services as COVID enters the community. As we continue to open up, we will need access to surge healthcare workers to monitor COVID patients in their homes, and continue our vaccination drive through an outbreak. We need this to manage COVID alongside providing routine care such as elective surgery, emergency department, and maternity services.
I’ve written an open letter to the Prime Minister which you can view and sign below (or here if it doesn’t load). I am also campaigning for a new hospital in Albury Wodonga, which you can learn more about here.