My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Health, and it is in relation to Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital. The hospital is currently seeking a budget allocation of $10 million to enable the redevelopment of its aged-care infrastructure. This project forms stage 1A of the Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital master plan, which has been approved and was recently reviewed by the Department of Health. The project involves refurbishing the hospital and an extension to incorporate 18 aged-care beds. At present the hospital’s aged-care facility has 3 four-bed rooms, 2 two-bed rooms and 2 one-bed rooms. In the multi-bed rooms only curtains separates the residents, which makes it extremely difficult to contain contagious illnesses such as gastroenteritis. In addition, none of the rooms in the facility have doors, making it particularly difficult for staff to control residents who may behave aggressively as a result of dementia.
Under the proposed building design there will be 38 beds in single rooms, meaning greater privacy for residents and a greater ability to control contagious diseases, and the installation of overhead tracking systems to assist staff with lifting. These aspects of this project will address concerns regarding the current infrastructure, including minimising infection control risks, reducing exposure to occupational health and safety-related issues for staff and residents, and increasing the privacy and dignity of residents. The project will also include the development of a dementia-specific area at the current gold standard of dementia management.
The project has ongoing financial aspects to it which will affect the viability of the aged-care facility into the future. At present Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital would only be eligible to access a maximum allowable accommodation supplement of $28.63 per day. However, if the project goes ahead, the maximum allowable accommodation supplement would almost double to $52.84 per day. This difference will have a significant impact on the future financial viability of the hospital. With these issues and aspects in mind, I urge the minister to strongly consider funding stage 1A of the Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital master plan, which is a shovel-ready project with enormous benefits for the Edenhope community. I hope to see that funding as a significant line item in the forthcoming state budget.