27 October 2022

Haines: New hospital announcement a huge win for Albury Wodonga but the fight for quality health care is never over

The announcement that Albury Wodonga Health will be redeveloped into an expanded single-site hospital has been welcomed by Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines.

“Doctors, health professionals, patients and the wider community have been campaigning for a new hospital for years and I have proudly stood beside them, bringing the case for investment in our region’s healthcare to the attention of the current and previous governments.

“This announcement is reward for our advocacy, the result of constantly fighting for our healthcare to be taken seriously by every level of Government,” Dr Haines said.

Dr Haines has been working for a new single-site hospital on the border for years, raising the issue with the former prime minister and health minister, and making the ask for a new hospital to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in their first conversation after the election. She has also met with Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas, who was on the border today for the announcement.

“Working with our community, amplifying our voices, I have made sure we can’t be ignored,” Dr Haines said.

“This re-developed single-site hospital will benefit people all over North Eastern Victoria and Southern NSW – more care will be available close to home without having to travel to Melbourne.

“We will no longer face situations where some services are offered at one site, and other services on the other side of the border. Patients won’t wait hours to be transferred, or for specialists to travel from one hospital to another. This will lead to better health outcomes and be safer for patients.”

Dr Haines will consult with the board of Albury Wodonga Health, and representatives from the Border Medical Association to get more information about the commitment and what comes next.

“While I welcome this announcement, I acknowledge that it falls short of what many of us hoped for, and that many in the health sector will be disappointed,” Dr Haines said.

“This isn’t the end of the fight on our health care. I am not downing tools and will never give up on improving health outcomes for our community.”

Dr Haines said she would seek assurances about the future of the Wodonga Hospital site.

“I will work with Albury Wodonga Health to identify what has been funded in this announcement and what is still needed to ensure our future health needs are provided for.

“I will keep talking to the Health Minister about how the Commonwealth Government can provide funding to improve healthcare in our region, including supporting and growing our rural health workforce.”

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