The Goulburn Valley Health community advisory group that I chair recently toured Eastern Health at Box Hill to gain an understanding of up-to-date infrastructure that Shepparton district patients might expect to have once the redevelopment of Goulburn Valley Health occurs.
What we viewed in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs was in stark contrast to the outdated and inadequate facilities at Shepparton.
It came as no surprise that the release of the Victorian Health Services Performance Report shortly after that visit showed that in Shepparton patients are not treated within benchmark time and that the benchmark has dropped to 50 per cent. This means every second person who presents at emergency at GV Health will not receive care within an appropriate time frame. That is simply unacceptable.
The report showed that compared with the previous quarter, there was a 4 per cent increase statewide to 76 per cent of patients treated within time. Shepparton, however, reported the opposite experience, dropping by 1 per cent on the previous report to the lowest figure in 12 months. At the same time, some 425 more emergency cases presented at GV Health in the same quarter.
The efforts of the Minister for Health in coming to Shepparton and visiting our hospital have been much appreciated, as was the $1 million for redevelopment planning, but this recent report highlights that the time for action is now. There is a critical and demonstrable need for dollars to be spent to redevelop Goulburn Valley Health.