A RADICAL transformation is needed at Albury Wodonga Health as an ageing population places strain on services, says chief executive Sue O’Neill.
Speaking at its annual general meeting last night, Ms O’Neill said a transformation needed to be in “not what we do, but how we do it”.
“Lifestyle-related diseases are really creating a burden in our communities,” she said.
“We hear and read about it in the media and read it in magazines, you can understand the issues about obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, the challenges of our affluent society.
“What I think is interesting is that most healthcare is consumed in the last two years of life.
“And in western society this is a really big issue.”
Ms O’Neill said the issues were not unique to Australia.
“It’s across the world,” she said. “It means we have a fairly turbulent future ahead of us, particularly in the next 20 or so years.”
Ms O’Neill spoke about the importance of planning and gave details on healthcare projects.
The integrated cancer centre is due to be complete in 2016 while money is also being spent to expand rehabilitation services and maternity services in Wodonga.
Cardiac diagnostic laboratories are also due to open in 2016.
According to the annual report, the healthcare provider operated at a deficit of $1.63 million last financial year.
It delivered 1631 babies, treated 31,000 inpatients and 55,000 people attended emergency departments.
The service has 1320 full-time equivalent staff, and the report spruiks a waiting list “the lowest it has been for years” at 3512 people on June 30.