ALBURY Wodonga Health will get $3 million to continue a program to pay for public patients to undergo elective surgery in the private sector.
More than 100 patients, mostly children having their tonsils removed, benefited from the original funding earlier this year and the new money will help several hundred more.
AWH was pleased to score $3.015 million from $15 million allocated state-wide under the Victorian initiative aimed at cutting elective waiting lists.
Health Minister David Davis yesterday announced the allocation intended to reduce waiting times in the public system.
AWH will use the funds to continue working with Albury Day Surgery and Albury Wodonga Private Hospital.
In the first two stages of the fund, Albury Wodonga received a combined amount of just over $2 million.
AWH chief executive Stuart Spring said he believed the Border had won out this time after showing the strength of its private-public relationship.
“We had an opportunity here that many other parts of the state didn’t,” he said.
“We’ve identified the types of surgery and cases that can be dealt with and we are working with those surgeons and private hospitals.
“Obviously it requires surgeons and patients to agree that that’s what they want ... but at this time of year it (the funding) couldn’t be better.”
Dr Spring hoped it would make a significantly reduce the waiting list of about 4500 people, particularly those needing orthopedic and general surgery.
“We’re very pleased the government actually allocated us 20 per cent of the available funds for Victoria,” he said.
Benambra MP Bill Tilley said patients were benefiting.
“Because it is over and above their normal surgery lists, the hospitals can provide this extra surgery at a competitive and efficient cost,” he said.
“This means more operations, and more people having their elective surgery.”
The program’s first two stages enabled Victoria’s hospitals to provide almost 17,000 extra operations. Stage three would deliver an estimated 2235 operations, almost 200 more than would have been provided through standard hospital budget allocations.