CHILDREN needing their tonsils out are among those who will benefit from $295,000 allocated to Albury Wodonga Health by the Victorian government.
As a result of the one-off funding, some children who are public patients without private health cover will have surgery at the Albury-Wodonga Private Hospital instead of waiting to be admitted to a public hospital.
Their parents won’t be charged for the tonsillectomy surgery or use of a private room.
The grant will also benefit some patients with urological problems who will now be directed to the Albury Day Surgery, with Albury Wodonga Health covering the costs.
Albury Wodonga Health officials are rapt at the special funding.
Although they could not say yesterday how many patients it could benefit, figures provided by the state government suggest it would be about 150.
The unexpected $4 million for Victoria’s health system comes against a background of cuts in the cross-border service’s total budget that are the subject of a stoush between the federal and state governments.
Victorian Health Minister David Davis announced this week the $4 million would be shared by nine private hospitals.
He said it could fund about 2100 elective surgery procedures over the next five months.
At present Albury Wodonga Health has about 400 adults and children on its elective surgery waiting lists for ear, nose and throat issues, with total waiting lists for all categories of public patients recently passing the 3500 mark.
Acting chief executive of Albury Wodonga Health Catherine O’Connell yesterday welcomed the funding.
“We are pleased as it will bring down the waiting times for elective surgery,” Ms O’Connell said.
“The funding will allow more ENT patients to be treated within the recommended 90 days.”
Ms O’Connell said the private sector on the Border had done work for public patients on occasions but not to this extent.
The 103-bed private hospital is part of Ramsay Health Care but the day surgery, also in West Albury, performs about 5000 procedures a year but operates independently and is owned by Dr Scott Giltrap.