PHILLIP Island will be the home of a 24/7 medical centre, if the Liberal-Nationals are elected on
The election gamechanger will see $1.8 million spent on upgrading the Cowes Medical Centre on Thompson Avenue to be open 24/7.
It’s been hailed as a win by Phillip Island locals, who’ve been calling for better healthcare since the closure of the old Warley hospital more than a decade ago.
The announcement was made on Monday, November 5, by Bass MP Brian Paynter and Shadow Minister for Health Mary Wooldridge.
“There is nothing more distressing than having a medical emergency and knowing the nearest medical care is at least a 40-minute drive away with no traffic,” Mr Paynter said on Monday.
He said it will be manned appropriately by qualified medical, nursing and support staff.
“This is the jewel in the crown. It’s one of the big issues that’s been around since I was elected, even before that.”
Mr Paynter said the $1.8 million will be used to fund a two-year trial of the 24/7 care.
“It needed to be fixed for the residents and for everyone who visits. The reason for the trial is it will give us a good basis to tweak the model after two years.
“Then the arrangements will continue. We will keep it going. I’ll be working immediately with Jan Child (Bass Coast Health CEO) and the doctors once we’re elected to get this going.”
The overnight staff will be able to diagnose and treat minor cases and have telemedicine access to the Wonthaggi Hospital and other larger centres.
“We will work closely with BCH and the medical centre to ensure the best outcome for the Phillip Island community. That is our commitment.”
The 24-hour medical centre has also been strongly advocated for by the Bass Coast Shire Council and Bass Coast Health.
“Labor has neglected to provide adequate health services for the Island providing nothing but empty promises that are years away from fruition,” Mr Paynter said.
“In addition to 24/7 medical coverage on Phillip Island, we will fund additional coverage during peak periods and major events and we will continue to work with BCH to ensure the health hub provides an expanded range of services that the Island needs, including chemotherapy and dialysis.”
The Phillip Island Medical and Health Action Group (PIMHAG) has been campaigning for 24/7 healthcare on Phillip Island for over a decade.
“We’re delighted it’s been delivered and it’s what we asked for; the model is one that will work,” PIMHAG President Peter Paul said.
“We’ve had increasing population over time, and so this is very much needed. I think importantly, the trial will show if it does work.
“It reassures people on Phillip Island that there is care locally. We’re also seeing the Wonthaggi Hospital being redeveloped and it’s about time.
“All these improvements are fantastic.”