AFTER years of campaigning to give public patients greater opportunity to be treated in Euroa, Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) announced last week that a deal had been struck between Euroa Health and Goulburn Valley Health to do just that.
Euroa Health is a community owned hospital, and admission was limited to those with private health insurance, meaning patients and families without it would often have to travel to Shepparton or Benalla for care.
The necessity to travel to, and find accommodation in an unfamiliar town was seen to be further burdening locals financially and emotionally who were already dealing with their illness or that of a loved one.
Under the new deal, however, some patients will now have the option to be admitted to Euroa Health, while others may be transferred from Shepparton to be closer to home to continue their recovery.
Effective immediately, the State Government will contribute $139,200 to support the initiative, on top of the $259,000 provided for Euroa Health in the 2016/17 financial year.
Although this is a relatively small amount of public funding, which means that, in practice, only a small number of patients will be able to access public health services in Euroa, chief executive officer Wayne Sullivan said this was a significant step in the right direction.