PATIENTS and medicos have reinforced the need for a new Albury-Wodonga hospital through stories provided to Indi MP Helen Haines.
They are among 788-signatories to a petition, calling for a new hospital, that Dr Haines presented to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt late last month in Canberra.
What A New Hospital Would Mean For Us is a document compiled by Dr Haines and featuring the views of those from across the Border and North East.
Among them is a Wodonga GP who stated "we absolutely need this" and "we desperately need more services".
An ambulance community officer from Mount Beauty told of "the struggles of getting patients into emergency" and adding a new hospital "is going to be essential in the future".
A nurse who has worked in Albury and Wodonga amid COVID declared: "I can see many ways a larger hospital would benefit both of the communities, especially in the emergency departments.
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A Wodonga couple, aged 67 and 84, are among the patients who feature in the publication which Dr Haines will launch on Tuesday.
The former Pam has rheumatoid arthritis and the latter James has a heart condition.
She has needed to travel to Melbourne for specialist medical appointments and he requires frequent check-ups.
"We are both experiencing long waiting times for our local GP which indicates that there is already a shortage of generalist doctors in our area, let alone specialist doctors," the pair report.
"We want and deserve better medical services in our region including more GPs and specialist medical services and a world class hospital."
Arguments about the value of a new hospital for regional growth, to cater to the ageing population and to attract medicos are also raised in What A New Hospital Would Mean For Us.
A Wodonga contributor forecast that "a more streamlined service, on one campus, would allow for greater learning opportunities for local nursing and allied health students. More job opportunities and better services for all patients".
Dr Haines said "these powerful, personal stories show the life-changing difference a new hospital for Albury-Wodonga would have".
She will provide a copy of her report to the federal, Victorian and NSW health ministers.
"We know a new hospital is top of the list for priority projects that has been put to the federal government for the Regional Deal, and this report shows our region's healthcare needs can't be ignored," Dr Haines said.
The nurse and midwife notes in her report that Albury-Wodonga's population by 2040 will be generating 150,000 emergency visits, 40,000 operations and 1900 births.
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