NEWS of looming Bendigo Health funding cuts is devastating for this community.
Threats of job losses at the city’s biggest employer means nervous times ahead for thousands of people.
Threats of bed closures and cuts to elective surgery waiting-lists can only compact suffering for thousands of residents awaiting treatment.
Staff being forced to take annual leave must impact on the Bendigo Health operation.
All this in the lead-up to Christmas.
It was fantastic to see Bendigo Health chief John Mulder come out all-guns-blazing on this issue yesterday.
Mr Mulder was strong in his condemnation of funding cuts delivered mid budget term. Such strength in manner, given possible political ramifications, was exactly what his staff and the community would want to see.
The confusion surrounds who is to blame for the cuts.
Mr Mulder was adamant yesterday the federal government was responsible with $2.9 million to go from its agreed contribution to Bendigo Health for the financial year.
Within an hour of Mr Mulder’s statement, Federal Member for Bendigo Steve Gibbons declared it was the state government that had questions to answer.
With so much at stake, this is not the time for a blame game but a time for action. If Steve Gibbons can play a role in stopping these cuts then he should be up for the fight.
If the state government can help then it should waste no time getting involved.
One thing is for certain – Bendigo doesn’t and shouldn’t take kindly to being dudded.
A fierce funding battle with plenty at stake for all concerned is about to begin.