Boost to equipment

A NEW capital funding boost to Latrobe Regional Hospital will allow it to upgrade and replace existing equipment.

LRH will receive $446,000 as part of a wider $60 million in grants for Victorian hospital upgrades announced by Premier Denis Napthine.

State Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the grants recognised the need for local hospitals to “have modern equipment available to them”.

LRH chief executive Peter Craighead welcomed the funding, saying it would help pay for this year’s “program priorities”, including the replacement of some intensive care beds, special care nursery cots and patient monitoring equipment. “Mattresses, operating tables, diathermy units, instrument washers, blood fridges and other items are also on the list,” Mr Craighead said.

“Hospital equipment and assets have limited life expectancies and replacement of this equipment on an ongoing basis is essential to providing quality care to all patients.

“In partnership with the Department of Health, we have an ongoing program to upgrade and replace equipment, and this money will go towards that program.”

Mr Craighead said the funding was separate to money sourced through LRH’s fundraising activities, which generated funds to buy additional equipment.

The money will be provided under the government’s Securing Our Health System 2012-2013 budget initiative.

A further $60 million will be allocated to the program in the forthcoming 2013-14 State Budget, Mr Napthine said.

“Modern and fit-for-purpose equipment in our hospitals provides the backbone for our doctors, our nurses and our allied health professionals to do what they do best – help patients,” he said.

He said the initiative targeted the replacement of the most ‘at-risk’ medical equipment and infrastructure approaching its use-by-date, that was “essential for hospitals and health services to provide timely treatment to their patients.”