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LETTER: ‘Crumbs from the table’

SIR, – I attended one of the community consultation meetings regarding the proposed amalgamation of Wimmera Health Care Group and Ballarat Health Services.

I was thoroughly disgusted with the proposal and the language used at the meeting – giving the impression it was a fait accompli and-or tokenism at best.

We were served up platitudes as to the improved services we ‘might’ attain. But in reality, they remained a ‘pie in the sky’ on a wish list and wholly dependent on the funding, goodwill and contracts between specialists tied to Ballarat, not Horsham. I believe this proposal is a smokescreen to cover ballooning debt and this proposed amalgamation could alleviate or shift the problem elsewhere. Possibly, a solution is to have the funding model adjusted to account for the needs of rural hospitals.

I can only concur with previous statements that, once you give up your autonomy and budget, you are at the mercy of an extremely large organisation and will receive only crumbs from the table.

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You give up autonomy to an institution, which is the best part of 200 kilometres from where services are required, and it becomes too hard.

Hospital and medical services should remain within the umbrella of the Wimmera.

Once you lose or transfer ownership to another entity you lose your identity and accept what’s left rather than first-class attention.

Franz Tursi, Horsham

The entire March 17, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!