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Albury Wodonga Health (AWH) board chair Matt Burke OAM today sought to clarify the cross-border health service’s position regarding collaboration with other regional health services.

“The Board continuously reviews models, proposals and options that present opportunities to improve and expand healthcare services for our community. However, decisions to pursue any models of care (collaborative or otherwise) will only ever be made on the basis they improve access to and quality of care for both Albury and Wodonga (and local border) communities.”

Any future considerations made by the board to progress to any type of structured collaborative arrangement would not occur without undertaking a comprehensive stakeholder and community engagement.

Mr Burke’s statement follows a successful visit by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to AWH yesterday. AWH Executives took the opportunity to outline the current demands on the service and the need for ongoing support so that it can continue to meet the demands of the growing community.

“I am confident Mr Perrottet returns to NSW State parliament acutely aware of our challenges and committed to ensuring our community has access to the very best healthcare possible,” Mr Burke said.

Mr Perrottet’s visit was well-timed, with AWH recently completing its Clinical Services Plan and progress on its Master Plan to follow shortly.

AWH CEO Michael Kalimnios explained that the Service Plan and Master Plan work in tangent to identify the future service needs for AWH and the community it serves.

“The Clinical Services Plan looks at our population over the next twenty years, and identifies the services we should be providing to that community. The Master Plan takes these findings and outlines the infrastructure needed to deliver these required services. Working together, the two plans provide objective and clear evidence about what we, as a regional health service, need to invest in,” Mr Kalimnios said.

“One of the challenges we have as a health service is that investment of funds can be ad hoc. From a funding perspective, the Master Plan is crucial as it provides accountability and guidelines when speaking to both State and Federal Government about the investments required to provide clinical needs.”

Mr Burke reiterated the Master Plan’s importance, stating “the Board endorses this plan. It’s been a long time coming and we can’t wait to get moving with the Master Plan.

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