ALBURY Wodonga Health has had a big fall in its operating deficit in the past 12 months, despite continuing to face COVID-19 pressures.
The annual report for the body which manages Albury and Wodonga public hospitals was tabled in the Victorian parliament on Thursday.
It showed an operating deficit of $480,000 for the financial year to June 30, compared to a shortfall of $3.559 million for the 2019-2020 period which coincided with the outbreak of COVID in Australia.
A key difference in the most recent reporting period was extra government funding, AWH chief executive Michael Kalimnios said.
"Albury Wodonga Health's improved financial position is the result of additional funding from the Victorian Department of Health, coupled with the improved financial management of our service," he said.
"This position has been further supported by additional funding support for our COVID-19 response."
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That is seen in AWH receiving $2.45 million worth of COVID supplies from the state in 2020-21, compared to $458,000 in the previous financial year.
That includes items such as masks, face guards and clothing which forms COVID protective equipment for frontline COVID staff.
AWH has also received $7.251 million capital grants in the last financial year, more than double the tally of 2019-20 which was $3.421 million.
That has coincided with AWH establishing its own public health unit as part of the Victorian government opting to move away from a centralised process to address COVID needs.
It led to the vaccination hub being opened in Wodonga earlier this year which the unit oversees along with COVID responses in Alpine, Indigo, Towong and Wangaratta council areas.
The annual report also noted there were 440 incidences of violence against AWH in the year to June 30, done marginally on 460 in the same previous period.
"It is pleasing to see a year on year reduction in reported incidents of occupational violence at Albury Wodonga Health," Mr Kalimnios said.
"It is important that anyone entering our health service for care or as a visitor, is respectful to our staff at all times.
"The reduction in occupational violence incidents over the past 12 months will have been impacted by a reduction in visitors to Albury Wodonga Health facilities on account of the COVID-19 pandemic."
The annual report also notes progress on a new Albury hospital emergency department and nearby mental health unit.
The resignation and service of board member Tim Farrah is recognised, however his surname is misspelt three times.
"This year the Board farewelled Tim Farrer (sic), and extended their thanks to Tim for his major contribution to the development and growth of AWH," one section read.
AWH will table the report at its annual meeting next Thursday.
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