Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : June 28, 2017 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28, 2017 - PAGE 11
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We love this beautiful shot by
@mylittleteacups on Woolamai
Beach. This is a perfect example of
our June theme of Exist In Nature.
In July we will be choosing images
tagged with #LovePhillipIsland that
feature some of our local wildlife.
Remember to upload your San
Remo and Phillip Island images on
Instagram and use the
#LovePhillipIsland hashtag for your
chance to be featured here.
July winners of the competition will
reflect our monthly theme of 'Wildlife'.
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Rallying cry over medical services
PHILLIP Island’s Medical and Health
Action Group has issued a rallying cry
to the community in the lead up to next
year’s state election, saying residents
need to lobby political parties for dra-
matically improved health funding.
The call comes as PIMHAG has joined
forces with the Phillip Island Progress
Association and Bass Coast ratepayers
and residents associations, with the
united voice calling on the State Gov-
ernment to improve “the grossly under-
resourced” Wonthaggi hospital.
PIMHAG president Peter Paul said
now the building work had begun on
the medical hub, on Church Street in
Cowes, the focus needed to be on im-
proving Wonthaggi hospital and by ex-
tension island services.
“The hospital has been woefully ne-
glected for many years and urgently
needs to be recognised and funded as
a sub-regional service, which means
greater services can come to the hub,”
Mr Paul said.
“The hub is independent but also
inter-dependent. If Bass Coast Health
has more services overall with a sub-
regional hospital then they can deliver
more specialists here, reducing the
need for people to travel for treatment.
“Every person who cares about
health has got to stand up and say we
have been under-funded, under-re-
sourced and over-looked for too many
years, that we need Wonthaggi hospital
which is more than a century old – to
be either pulled down or renovated in
Mr Paul said Cowes would not get
“fully-fledged emergency services” in
the immediate future and while health
services such as podiatry, dieticians
and physios had been locked in to the
hub, medical services – such as oncol-
ogy or palliative care – were still under
“Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt
has always said there are four stages
to the hub and we’re just building
stage one now. We need to be looking
at stages two, three and four and what
“Our needs are oncology and cardiol-
He said the long-awaited release of
the clinical services plan by Bass Coast
Health would give clear direction –
based on statistics and data – about the
specific medical service needs for the
“There is a clear issue of underfund-
ing for BCH. The hospital board, aux-
iliary and staff have worked tirelessly
to improve the hospital, but in spite of
endless reports going back for years,
and acknowledgement of need, there
have been no substantive changes.”
Mr Paul said the Bass Coast commu-
nity had “measurably worse health sta-
tus” than other rural areas. Currently
only 44 per cent of Phillip Island cases
and 47 per cent of Bass Coast Health
cases are treated locally.
“These are extremely low figures
when compared with other rural areas
of Victoria where 75-80 per cent are
PIMHAG and the two progress asso-
ciations are calling for political parties
in the lead up to the 2018 Victorian
election to provide a master plan for
“We don’t want a glad bag of politi-
cians saying here’s $10 million for the
hospital. We want to see a master plan
for the development of Wonthaggi to a
successful sub-regional hospital for
years to come, we want to see the spe-
cifics, surgery, birthing, emergency and
“We don’t want to go to the same well
each year asking the same question.”
He said figures of up to $200 million
had been discussed as a total hospital
redevelopment and one alternative was
to build a new hospital on a new site.
“This would allow the hospital to
continue operation from its current
site without interruption...but it may
be harder to secure such a large com-
mitment and funding from government
faced with many competing forces.
“Of course it is possible to redevelop
the existing site progressively, mean-
ing the hospital would have to operate
with ongoing disruption over about 10
“What is certain is that while the hos-
pital is so dismally underfunded and
run down it cannot increase the servic-
es provided or attract the quality and
quantity of staff it needs.”
Mr Paul said he understood there
was a level of cynicism and scepticism
in the community about the lack of an
emergency department on the island.
“I see the cynicism but I also see the
“PIMHAG started off wanting a hos-
pital and both governments said they
wouldn’t give us that so we fought for
the hub and now that’s being built we
want to make the best of that.
“There’s so much evidence to show
we have been overlooked. So the com-
munity really needs to step up and fight
for better facilities, otherwise apathy
will win the day.
“If the people of Bass Coast do not
care enough to make our feelings
known at the highest level, then how
can we expect change to happen?”
Mr Paul encouraged residents to
write to the State Health Minister Jill
Hennessy at jill.hennessy@parliament.
vic.gov.au, Federal Health Minister
Greg Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
au, as well as Member for Bass Brian
Paynter, Member for McMillan Rus-
sell Broadbent, Eastern Victorian MP
Harriet Shing and CEO of Bass Coast
Health Jan Child at jan.child@bassco-
Do you have a heart problem?
Do you know of Heart Support Aus-
tralia (HAS), the national heart patients
support organisation with branches in
HSA has a branch in San Remo
which meets at the Bass Coast Com-
munity Health Centre, 1 Back Beach
Road on the first Friday of every month
The next meeting is Friday, July 7.
Support, information and encourage-
ment are available for everyone, carers
For further information please con-
tact Judy 5952 2974 or Sue 5952
ENERGY Orpheaus arrived in West-
ern Port on Sunday, June 25 from
The very large gas carrier will depart
for a destination to be advised today
Arriving from Noumea on June 29
will be the LPG tanker Maea which will
sail for Lyttleton the following day.
The LPG Tanker Bougainville will ar-
rive in the bay on July 5, departing on
July 7 for a destination to the advised.
Another LPG tanker Astrid will ar-
rive on July 7 and leave again on July
10. Arriving from Botany Bay on July
8 will be the unleaded petrol/diesel
tanker Leikanger which will sail the
next day bound for Bell Bay.
Shipping in the bay
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