$80k in funds for Casino hospital
WARREN SNOWDEN, the Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health, yesterday announced funding of $80,700 for new equipment at the Casino and District Memorial Hospital.
The money will be used by the hospital to purchase a new ventilator, bladder scanner and an electrocardiogram machine.
The announcement came during a community health forum held at the hospital by the Minister and Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin to consult with medical professionals over the Federal Government's health care reform plan.
Mr Snowden said he was unaware the Casino hospital had been without a full-time medical officer since last year, but said the Government's health reforms would help hospitals with staffing problems.
Ms Saffin said health care was going to be a big election issue and although she had already delivered improved health care to Page constituents, she would be taking nothing for granted.
“It's going to be a tight race,” she said.
According to Mr Snowden, the health reform proposal, which would see 60 per cent of hospital funding coming from the Federal Government, would not lead to any hospital closures.
The reforms would see the establishment of Local Health Networks, which would have autonomy over health care spending within its own geographical area.
The proposed network area for the North Coast would cover a similar geographical area as the North Coast Area Health Service, or could see the region divided into two network areas.
The proposed reforms would also include initiatives to get more health care providers working in regional Australia.
Mr Snowden said the reforms would see 680 more specialists and 5500 more general practitioners trained by 2020, with 50pc of all new doctors required to work in regional locations.