BENDIGO Hospital staff hope to secure drug and alcohol specialists.
The state government yesterday announced $12 million for new staff in 21 emergency departments across the state. It’s not yet known which hospitals will receive the funding.
Bendigo Health chief medical officer Dr Andre Nel said the hospital would welcome the money.
“Bendigo Health has recently reported in the media about the increase in demand on emergency medical and psychiatric services due to patients who are affected by the misuse of alcohol and drugs,” he said.
“All drugs, whether legal or illegal, prescribed or otherwise, have their problems and are flooding our emergency services not just at hospital level, but also for ambulance and police.
“Any increase in funding to prevent the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs is strongly supported and welcomed by all of our staff who work with patients affected by such substances.”
Mr Nel said alcohol abuse was a “huge drain” on community resources. “Increasing specialist care at the frontline, in emergency, in psychiatry and in the community to decrease presentations would be beneficial to the Bendigo community,” he said.
“We look forward to becoming formally advised of how this funding is to be allocated.” – BL