Castlemaine Health wants to hear from you about the shape and location of its services in years to come.
It has launched a comprehensive three-month consultation that will see it visit 10 towns across the shire. It includes an online consultation hub at www.engage.vic.gov.au/castlemaine-health, meetings with interested community groups and the chance for individuals to contribute their views directly through a survey. It will culminate in a report to government in September.
“We have the opportunity to develop a modern health service for our community and we want to get it right,” explained Chair Carolyn Wallace. “We are very proud of our present service and the regard the community has for it. But it’s getting harder and harder to deliver modern healthcare within the limitations of the existing buildings.”
“The current buildings, while historically significant, present a range of problems. They are old and increasingly need major maintenance. The slope and layout make access and movement between buildings difficult for patients, visitors and staff. It costs a lot of money to keep the buildings at a bare minimum standard of safety and comfort.”
Castlemaine Health is considering three main options for a fully modern health service. Each option includes a new hospital and aged care accommodation but to make sure they get the mix right, they’re asking the community whether there are other services that might be needed in the future. They’re also interested to hear local views on where these services should be located.
Acting CEO Kerryn Healy said: “This is important to the whole of our community. We’ve had very good support from the Mount Alexander Shire and community health services in our catchment in identifying options but we also want to make sure that we provide the best chance for patients, carers, families, as well as community groups, to comment about what is important to them.”
Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Sharon Telford encouraged all residents and community groups to get on board with the consultation. She said: “Castlemaine Health has a special place in our community. It’s a major contributor to the health of our residents and a major employer in the shire. It is important that we support it to develop and grow in pace with community needs” Ms Telford said. “Council will be supporting the consultations wherever it can.”
To find out more about the issues and options, put forward your views and nominate a local event to attend, visit www.engage.vic.gov.au/castlemaine-health.