Upgrade announced

By Benalla Ensign

More Benalla patients will get better access to safer and higher-quality care thanks to a Victorian Government funding boost to upgrade cleaning equipment at Benalla Health.

Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy visited Benalla Health on Friday to announce that the facility would receive $200000 through the State Government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

This month the fund was expanded by a further $50 million — taking the total investment into rural and regional health services to $250 million.

The fund is the largest of its kind in the state’s history and is designed to give all Victorians access to the high-quality care and the facilities they need, no matter where they live.

Ms Hennessey was joined by Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes for a tour of Benalla Health before making the announcement.

‘‘We’re putting patients first and revamping our rural and regional health services, so more patients in Benalla can be treated sooner, closer to home,’’ Ms Hennessy said.

‘‘Doctors and nurses at Benalla do a remarkable job. We’re supporting them to do their job saving lives and keeping locals healthy by giving them the very best medical equipment.’’

The funding boost for Benalla Health will be used to buy the latest advances in washing and cleaning technology for medical equipment, such as endoscopes.

It will replace the hospital’s Soluscope and Steris machines and buy new endoscope drying and storage cabinets.

By improving the quality, reliability and safety of sterilisation equipment for medical devices, patients will enjoy better health outcomes.

It will also ensure the hospital can continue to meet increasing demand for local surgical services.

The latest funding comes on top of $4.39 million provided to Benalla Health in the first round of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to build the new Morrie Evans Wing and replace an ultrasound, defibrillator monitor and ICT infrastructure at Benalla Hospital.

Last year’s budget delivered $1.67 billion to support hospitals to meet demand and provide the high-quality care Victorian patients deserve, as well as $428.5million in new hospital upgrades.