By Jackson Russell
Three Mitchell Shire health services will be able to purchase new life-saving equipment and improve critical infrastructure through a $160 million State Government funding program.
Seymour Health, The Kilmore and District Hospital and Nexus Primary Health each received six-figure grants through the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, Medical Equipment Replacement Program and Engineering Infrastructure Replacement Program.
The Kilmore and District Hospital will receive more than $270,000 for upgrades to its fire, site safety and security systems.
The upgrades will improve secure access to the hospital’s maternity suites and inpatient unit and ensure the necessary areas are secured and support appropriate staff access, while the upgrades to its fire system will see its fire pumps replaced.
Hospital chief executive Sue Race said improvements to both systems had taken place incrementally during the past three years.
“The security upgrades are pretty crucial in ensuring staff safety is a priority and patient privacy as well in terms of ensuring patient areas are only accessed by people who should be there,” she said.
“It’s terrific, we’re really pleased to receive this funding so that we can make sure our infrastructure is improved to keep our site safe.”
Seymour Health will receive $680,200 for replacement of operating theatre medical equipment to assist it in compliance with new standards to enhance clinical care and safety during surgery, particularly in regard to airway management.
The funding will facilitate the replacement of older equipment with new state-of-the-art urology equipment, as well as improving lighting in theatre with new LED lighting.
It has also allowed Seymour Health to replace the operating table, a range of disinfection and sterilising equipment to ensure infection control practices are compliant and safe.
The hospital has also replaced colonoscopes, gastroscopes and telescopes to ensure up to date endoscopy and diagnostic ability and care that matches its metropolitan counterparts.
Seymour Health chief executive Ward Steet said the funding would allow the hospital to continue to provide a broad range of surgical interventions that would not be possible without the new equipment.
“The funding does not increase capacity but does allow for the same volumes to be maintained, which would not have been the case without it,” he said.
“The new equipment was essential to ensure the future of surgical intervention at Seymour Health. Without maintaining current instrumentation, it is difficult to attract and retain surgeons in rural and regional areas.
“Without the capability of providing this care locally, it requires local residents to travel, often significant distances, to receive equivalent care.”
Nexus Primary Health will also receive $135,161 for digital infrastructure improvements.
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the state’s dedicated doctors, nurses, and patients were all set to benefit from the funding.
“This funding means our local health care providers can continue to deliver world-class care for regional families,” she said.