I rise to make a statement on the Hesse Rural Health Service 14th annual report,
which is for 2007-08. This reporting period has been a very exciting time in the
further development of Hesse Rural Health Service with the signing of contracts
to commence the building of the specialised, 10-bed rural dementia wing. I would
particularly like to thank the Winchelsea and District Community Bank branch of
Bendigo Bank for its significant contribution, being a major sponsor of this
During the initial work there was an unexpected discovery in
the renovation of the old hospital wing to meet aged-care building standards.
Building materials that were used in the 1950s were discovered. They were
hazardous and required immediate removal. This is a very delicate and difficult
process. However, the health service did a marvellous job in resolving that
The Brumby state Labor government has provided the health
service with over $800 000 to resolve that issue.
In the annual report the president of the
Hesse Rural Health Service, Mr John Carr, said:
- Resolution of these issues has received prompt support through the —
Department of Human Services —
- at regional level.
For those who are not aware of the area that the Hesse Rural
Health Service covers, it includes Rokewood, Winchelsea, Bannockburn and Beeac,
but a number of smaller towns and a lot of smaller communities lie in between.
The health service was also successful in its submission to the Geelong
Community Foundation for $10 000, and that resulted in a men’s shed at Rokewood,
which I understand is very well used.
A new bus was also provided, through the sustainable fleet
funding, for the Beeac community health centre.
As well as providing infrastructure the Hesse Rural Health
Service provides a whole host of programs surrounding the health and wellbeing
of local communities — for example, the Beeac community health centre provides
a range of promotional activities. It has walk-and-talk groups, meet-and-greet
groups, yoga, children at play, and a Nesters group. The Nesters is a group of
women whose children have now left home and who get together on a regular basis
and put on concerts and essentially talk about the issues that confront them.
This shows that the Hesse Rural Health Service is not just a hospital or surgery
where ill people go; it is at the very heart of the community and plays a vital
role in many different ways.
Another specific example of this is the delivery of the
sustainable farm families program. During the reporting period 22 people from
farms in the catchment area were involved. It is an award-winning program and
includes staff from Winchelsea Community Health, Beeac Community Health and
Rokewood Community Health. It also involves the Victorian Farmers Federation and
the Western District Health Service. The program is funded by the Department of
Human Services and addresses the impact the drought is having on farming
families and the significance of their health in running their farms.
I would like to congratulate Hesse Rural Health Service on a
very successful reporting period and for a very thorough and comprehensive
report. I encourage it to continue its excellent work with the Deakin University
medical school. As we know, a number of first-year medical students spend time
with the health service.
This can only have encouraging aspects to ensure that more
younger graduate doctors make the decision to settle, work and raise families in
rural and regional Victoria.