Posted on 14. Feb, 2013 in News

Premier Ted Baillieu must immediately intervene and stop Casey Hospital from shutting its emergency department at night, Shadow Minister for Health Gavin Jennings said today.

Mr Jennings said the Baillieu Government’s failure to adequately fund Casey Hospital is the reason for the emergency department cutting back hours.

Mr Jennings said it came as no surprise that the Baillieu Government was blaming the Federal Government, despite cash-strapped Southern Health struggling over the past two years.

“The mess with Casey Hospital is another case of Mr Baillieu putting politics before patients,” Mr Jennings said.

“Make no mistake about it – the State Government runs the health system and has the power to fix this mess.

“Shutting an emergency department in an area with a booming population will put lives at risk and the Health Minister, David Davis, could stop it from happening today if he chose to do so.

“Instead, people in Melbourne’s south-east will now have to travel further and wait longer in potentially life-threatening situations – this will heap more pressure on surrounding hospitals.”

Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley said Casey Hospital serviced once of the fastest growing areas in the country but had been struggling to cope for some time.

“Labor built Casey Hospital for the growing community in the south-east, yet now it seems Ted Baillieu is content to see it shut down,” Ms Graley said.

“Last financial year, Casey had almost 50,000 emergency presentations – sending these patients to nearby hospitals simply shouldn’t be an option.

“Frankston and Dandenong and other suburban hospitals across Melbourne don’t have the capacity to take the patients that Casey will turn away.

“Casey clearly needs more support, with recent figures showing it missing targets on basic performance measures such as ambulance patient transfer times and emergency patient treatment times.

“Instead of standing back and letting Casey Hospital shuts its doors, Mr Baillieu should be providing more support and resources to the hardworking doctors and nurses.

“Ted Baillieu and David Davis have to step in to stop Casey shutting its emergency department, otherwise the whole south-east will suffer.”

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