Organisation funding cut ‘a big loss’

BETTER DAYS: Emma Kealy, Rural Northwest Health chief executive Catherine Morley and chairman Leo Casey at the opening of stage two works at the Warracknabeal health campus. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

BETTER DAYS: Emma Kealy, Rural Northwest Health chief executive Catherine Morley and chairman Leo Casey at the opening of stage two works at the Warracknabeal health campus. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

RURAL Northwest Health is calling on residents to join a new governance committee to guide the organisation through changes resulting from a “large” funding cut.

The organisation’s chief executive Catherine Morley said the loss of $270,000 in funding was “a big loss” but the service would minimise the impact on the community.

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“We have received $888,977 for the new financial year from Primary Health Network, which is a substantial amount,” she said.

“But the reality is, it will be $270,000 less than last year’s funding because the remainder has been allocated to another health provider in the Yarriambiack Shire.

“It’s a big loss and it will mean significant changes for our team but the Rural Northwest Health vision is moving together through change to provide innovative rural health care.”

Western Victoria PHN chairwoman Lynne McLennan said the organisation spent more than 12 months consulting professionals, health services and communities about how best to deliver primary healthcare services at a local level.

“With the growth in many chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, lung diseases, cancer, dementia, mental health and musculoskeletal problems, a more focused approach to managing these patients and their treatment is needed,” she said.

“Through a competitive tendering process, Western Victoria PHN has allocated over $5.3 million across the region for these services. Existing funding levels across the region were maintained.”

Ms Morley said the health service would develop a new model of care based on the Wagner Chronic Care model.

Services will be delivered via individual sessions, groups or via Telehealth and residents will monitor their health at home.

Ms Morley said the board of management and executive team would work with team members to ensure the loss of funds minimally affected the range of community services available. 

She said it was important people continued to visit health professionals in their own region. 

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