Dr Helen Haines MP, Independent Federal Member for Indi, has thrown her weight behind Albury Wodonga Health’s call for a single-site, regional world class hospital on the border.

“This is the clear message from the plan released by Albury-Wodonga Health about how to meet the health needs of our region.” Dr Haines said.

“Within 15 years the population of the Albury-Wodonga region will grow by a third.

“By 2040 we’ll need a hospital capable of handling 150,000 emergency presentations, 40,000 surgeries and 1,900 births every year.

“This means we will need a larger hospital, at a single site, with more capacity and more specialist facilities. The care we need, close to home.

“Our community deserves no less.”

Dr Haines said that as a nurse who had worked in large and small hospitals in the North East Victoria for over 35 years, she was deeply familiar with the health needs of the region.

“As a nurse, I know that safety and quality come first, and having the resources and facilities to deliver first class care for patients is essential to achieve this.

“The master planning process will now clearly define the infrastructure that is needed to deliver these services.”

“Like many others, I’m expecting to see healthcare services addressed in the long-awaited Albury Wodonga Regional Deal.

“I’m calling on the Victorian, NSW and Federal Government to work together to bring our major hospital up to the standard that other communities of our size have.”

Dr Haines welcomed the release of the Clinical Services Plan, noting that clinicians and hospital administration were speaking with one voice about safety and quality of care improvements to be achieved through one fully resourced regional site.

But she noted concerns in the community about changes in the healthcare model.

“Urgent care services are needed both sides of the border for people who don’t have access to transport or simply can’t travel.

“We want our new mothers, our parents and our families to be getting first-class healthcare no matter what.”

“Having a world-class hospital with enhanced services particularly in neonatal care and heart surgery will reduce the need for the cross-border community to travel to Melbourne or Sydney for care, that they deserve to get here at home”

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