Rising times: Funding increase for Swan Hill District Health will merely cover costs

SWAN Hill District Health chief executive officer Ted Rayment says an increase in state government funding for the hospital in 2017/18 is merely to cover rising costs in the public health sector.

Swan Hill District Health chief executive officer Ted Rayment.

Swan Hill District Health chief executive officer Ted Rayment.

"The general increases awarded across the system is to cover off pay rises and other costs," Mr Rayment said.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy announced the 2017/18 bottom-line budget allocations for Victorian hospitals last Friday. 

Swan Hill District Health receives $37.5 million, up by $1.9 million, or 5.4 per cent, on the previous year.

"Our board will be looking at the budget and determining what gaps we may have and how we would address that as we do every year," Mr Rayment said. 

He said the board's major financial balance was the enterprise bargaining agreement that comprised a 2.5 per cent wage increase.

"The other big shock to hit us is rising electricity costs, which are up between 60 to 70 per cent," Mr Rayment said. 

"We will be looking at costs and try to strengthen to provide safe care with appropriate number of staff and resources."

Ms Hennessy said the funding boost came on the back of an extra $1.6 billion in this year's state budget across four years. 

"Swan Hill allocation is up by $5.2 million, or 16.1 per cent, on what it was doled out under the Liberals," she claimed.

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the record boost gave them the support the needed to keep saving lives and keep people in Northern Victoria healthy.

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