Funding boost for Barwon Health

Health Minister Jill Hennessey

Barwon Health funding will increase almost four times the rate of inflation this financial year to meet rising demand, State Government has announced.
Barwon Health would receive $509 million from state-wide “bottom-line budget allocations” of $18 billion in 2017/2018, the government said.
Barwon Health’s allocation was up $38.73 million, or 8.2 per cent, on the previous year.
Geelong would benefit from the state’s $18 billion “record investment” in services ranging from hospitals to ambulances and aged care, said Health Minister Jill Hennessey.
“This record boost means better hospitals and efficient care that is first class and accessible, no matter where you live,” she said.
Local State Labor MPs were quick to praise the additional cash for Barwon Health.
“In Geelong we are opening more beds, more theatres and reducing waits for surgery and emergency care which is all about putting patients first,” said Member for Geelong Christine Couzens.
Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said the funding boost would help “our dedicated doctors and nurses” perform their “remarkable job at Barwon Health”.
“This record boost gives them the support they need to keep saving lives and keep people in Geelong healthy,” she said.
Member for Lara John Eren, who was treated at Geelong hospital for a heart attack last year, also welcomed the funding boost.
“We’re making the investments our health services and workers deserve to give all families in Geelong the care they need, when they need it most,” he said.
But the opposition criticised Ms Hennessey’s announcement as inadequate.
“Barwon Health has been operating in an environment of great uncertainty which this funding announcement does not solve,” said Shadow Health Minister Mary Wooldridge.
“In April, the Barwon Health CEO resigned only nine months into her tenure and a permanent replacement has only recently been found. At the same time, waiting times for both elective surgery and treatment in the emergency department have significantly declined when compared to the same period last year.
“Daniel Andrews must ensure the delivery of timely health services for Geelong patients and their families.”