Why it Matters
With population expected to continue to rapidly increase in Werribee over the next decade it is vital that health services and hospitals keep pace and that services and capacity continue to expand to match the extra demand from the growing population.
Much of the population increase is in young families who naturally are having lots of babies! As the region’s major public hospital Werribee Mercy Hospital will be called upon to provide the necessary services. Over the next five years it is projected that Werribee Mercy Hospital will need to provide for the births of an additional 1200 babies increasing from the current 3800 births to 5000.
At the other end of life’s journey more elderly people, as well as others with terminal or chronic illness, need palliative care.
The Labor Government has devalued palliative care and deprived it of funding by redirecting significant funding to its assisted suicide program. In its last budget before the election Labor allocated $12 million to assisted suicide and no new funding to palliative care.
The closure in September 2018 of The Gathering Place, which provided indigenous health services in Werribee has left another gap in health services.
Other gaps include shortfalls in mental health services at Werribee Mercy Hospital.
While the current expansion of Werribee Mercy Hospital is welcome it will need further capital growth to meet the growing demand from population increase.
A further extension to Werribee Mercy Hospital needs to begin now to keep pace with the planned growth in service delivery.
As well as increased capacity for births and paediatric services, it should include extended surgical facility; a catheterisation lab; an expanded Emergency Department and more capacity to handle patients with chronic diseases needing services like dialysis and other ongoing treatments.
For the growing elderly population dementia services and palliative care are a top priority.
What I’ve Done
Called for funding for the Australian Pain Management Association to help Victorians dealing with chronic pain.
Initiated an inquiry into perinatal services in Victoria.
After attending a “beyondblue Cup” footy match – won by the Werribee Tigers! – I advocated for a specific focus on men’s mental health .