Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP, today backed community calls to return the operation of Mildura Base Hospital to public management.
“For the last two years, I’ve been listening carefully to what the community wants on this issue. Whether through public submissions, letters and emails, or discussing the hospital face to face, two things have been clear: the cuts inflicted on Mildura Hospital between 2010 and 2014 did real damage, and locals want their hospital back under public administration.
“The Andrews Labor government is determined to get the best results for Mildura. We’ve been engaged in a formal process to determine what the public want, and get it right.
“I’ve been making sure everything I’ve heard and the conversations I’ve had are being considered as part of that process. That’s why I’m now calling on the Government to respond to the overwhelming wishes of the community and return Mildura Base Hospital to public hands.
“We also listened to the communities calls for more funding and is why just last year, the Andrews Labor Government invested more than $8 million towards upgrading Mildura Base Hospital’s ICU and paediatric unit.
“Additionally, in 2017/18 we put a record $105.5 million into Mildura Hospital. In 2018/19 that increased again to $116 million. This year the funding will hit $124 million – more than $36 million and 40% higher than the final year of the previous Liberal government.
“We’ll be spending a significant amount of money on specialist appointments at Mildura Base over the next few years, making sure people can access high quality services where and when they need them.
“That’s all because this government cares about the health of all Victorians, and they know how important Mildura Base Hospital is.
“I also wanted to thank Ali Cupper for her recent advocacy on this issue. Her representations to parliament earlier this year echoed public concerns that have been brewing for years.
“We need to call out Liberal-National hand wringing on this issue for what it is – a weasel worded defense of privatisation. The Mildura community haven’t and won’t forget the health cuts inflicted on them by the Liberals and Nationals between 2010-2014 or that they privatised the hospital without community consultation.“
The Liberals and Nationals might not care about health care in Mildura but the public and the Andrews Government do.