Bendigo’s patients may soon lose their patience

No wonder the people of Bendigo throw their hands up in dismay regarding progress, or lack of it, of their  new hospital. 

It was suggested in the press that the chairman of Bendigo Health was disappointed with the talks regarding the Bendigo Hospital’s shortfall of $2.9 million dollars, blaming the Federal Government.

  Since this claim, it has been reported that the premier was a signatory to this agreement and somehow it’s somebody else’s fault. 

The revelation that 

$616 million has been taken out of the Victorian health portfolio cannot do anything else but have huge implications for public health delivery capabilities in this state, affecting staff and patients.

As will the $3.5 million dollar cut disclosed in the 2012-13 financial year, and subsequent cuts in ensuing years at our hospital. If the patience of the Bendigo public is not being stretched to the limit, the political rubber band must surely be at breaking point. 

Now, as has been reported, one of the tenders is ineligible because of signing an agreement with a union, apparently contrary to Victorian government rules. 

So let’s get real here – the best and most practicable tender is going to be discarded. I believe the buildings opposite the present hospital were built with union labour. I don’t recall any problems with this project. 

Is this nothing more than a stalling tactic, or worse still, a strategy to build a hospital inferior to previous indications? 

The scale of this hospital project was a vocal part of the Liberal government’s campaign  to leapfrog Labor’s plan, while also campaigning to have their representatives elected to both Bendigo East and West at the previous state election – both canmpaigns being unsuccessful. 

Now, as they say, the chickens are coming home to roost.

Ken Price

Eaglehawk 

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