12 March 1991 - Current
Ms SHEED (Shepparton) — My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Health. It relates to Goulburn Valley Health and the waiting times in our emergency department. The waiting list times were released only two weeks ago, and Goulburn Valley Health is the third worst performer in the state. That might seem like a seriously bad situation, and for the people of Shepparton it is not good.
I have had the opportunity of seeing the conditions in our emergency department. We have 11 emergency cubicles to deal with people coming through, but places like the new Echuca hospital have 30. Echuca has a much smaller population, so members can see the discrepancy between the two hospitals despite the population differences, with Goulburn Valley Health having a catchment area serving up to 230 000 people and including southern New South Wales. One of the main problems with our emergency department is the fact that people are coming in and having to wait for a long time, partly because there is nowhere to put them — there is no back end for them. Many people need to be admitted to hospital but there are simply not enough beds to accommodate them.
This is a long-term problem that has developed. I am pleased to say that I have been appointed chairperson of the community advisory group by the government and that funding has been provided to engage the community in a process around what a redevelopment of Goulburn Valley Health should look like. I feel quite confident that Goulburn Valley Health will achieve the funding it needs during the next three years to start stage 1 of its redevelopment. In the meantime I call on the minister to consider ways of relieving the stress that currently exists in our emergency department.