Border does well despite cut

ALBURY and Wodonga hospitals had a combined increase of more than 100 patients in the three months to December last year.

And Wodonga Hospital saw an increase of nearly 50 neonatal-intensive care nursery babies (125) compared to the same quarter in 2011.

The increases were revealed yesterday in the Victorian Health Services Performance Report for the December and September 2012 quarters.

Health Minister David Davis said Albury-Wodonga had shown strong performances in a number of key areas, despite a $50 million loss of funding from the commonwealth government.

Among those was the fact both Albury and Wodonga hospitals treated 100 per cent of category 1 emergency patients immediately on arrival at their emergency department in the three months to December.

But Mr Davis said waiting lists for elective surgery on the Border and in Victoria were likely to grow.

“While our hospitals have performed well in treating emergency patients, sadly the impact of last year’s federal government funding cuts and the ongoing funding reductions will mean that, in future, even more people will be forced to wait longer for their surgery,” Mr Davis said.

Throughout the state, the elective surgery waiting list is edging closer to 50,000 people.

There were 4587 more people on the list at the end of last year than in December 2011, after the first 12 months of the state Coalition government.

The waiting list grew by 1332 people in the September quarter, which pre-dated the federal government’s $107 million October funding cut.

The cut has now been reversed and Mr Davis has urged the commonwealth to pay the money now.