Cash injection to help flu fight

October 10, 2017

THIS flu season has had a major impact on our health services.

But an injection of more than $90,000 from the state government aims to lighten the load.

Rochester and Elmore District Health Service will receive $83,628 and the Lockington Bush Nursing Centre will receive $10,000 to provide relief from one of Victoria’s worst flu seasons.

Although REDHS hasn’t had a large intake of patients with influenza, the impact has been on its staff.

‘‘We have been impacted through our staff being on sick leave,’’ REDHS chief executive Anne McEvoy said.

‘‘The majority of flu cases get controlled by our GPs but if a patient was to escalate it wouldn’t be appropriate for our facility to care for them.

‘‘They would get referred elsewhere.’’

Mrs McEvoy said they have had confirmed cases of influenza A.

‘‘Our main focus is on infection control, especially on hand washing and through vaccination,’’ she said.

‘‘We have a new infection control practitioner starting soon and this money, although it is not a huge amount, will be put towards continued education and training of staff.

‘‘It is important that the staff understand the importance of infection control especially since the flu season isn’t over yet.’’

Mrs McEvoy said any funding is always welcome.

‘‘This money will lighten the load a bit and help us to be prepared,’’ she said.

‘‘Our aged care also has a great infection control protocol which I think is really important.’’

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp announced the support package last week.

‘‘Hospitals across Victoria have been feeling the pressure with more than 14,000 flu cases reported across Victoria this flu season,’’ he said.

‘‘This money will be key to supporting our local hospitals.

‘‘Our dedicated doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers have done a remarkable job in the face of unprecedented demand — ensuring patients are receiving the first class care they deserve.’’

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