Dingee hospital takeover slammed

THE Dingee community is upset about the lack of transparency of a proposed takeover of the Dingee Community Bush Nursing Centre by the Rochester and Elmore District Health Service (REDHS).

Almost 120 people attended a public meeting at Dingee on Tuesday night to discuss the future of the bush nursing centre, which has been in operation for 95 years.

The group is putting a petition to Victorian Health Minister David Davis to investigate the board of directors and how it came to the decision to amalgamate the two health services without community consultation. 

The Dingee Community Bush Nursing Centre board held an annual general meeting on September 18 and then called a public meeting on October 24, where directors told the public of their decision.

Dingee resident Robyn Brown said the board did not consult with the community. 

“It’s been running for 95 years and the community were not aware of any problems until the public meeting on October 24,” she said.

“The big question is, what other avenues were explored?”

Dingee Community Bush Nursing chief executive officer John Twigg said the board had no choice but to merge with REDHS.

He said there was not enough funding to put on a compliance manager and the current nursing manager was already over-stretched and could not take on the extra responsibilities.

“We got ourselves in a position where the board knew we were looking to be noncompliant in some areas and financially we were falling behind,” Mr Twigg said. 

“We approached our peak bodies and said we needed a solution and what we came up with was they’d approach a larger health service to take over the running of the centre.”

Mr Twigg said he could understand the community backlash, but “we put this out there by the board because it’s the only viable solution found”.

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