Alpine Health under threat

ALPINE Health believes its long-term sustainability is under threat unless government acts to support its plans to replace ageing infrastructure.

The community health service’s management board, through chairman Brian King, has told the House of Representatives’ regional development and decentralisation select committee that the service has long been “a prime example” of the synergies small communities can deliver without significant investment.

“Alpine Health, a multi-purpose health service…has shown that innovation is the key to success,” Mr King wrote in the board’s submission to the committee, which heard from North East and Border organisations and others at a public hearing in Wodonga last week.

“Trading on the ethic that ‘Local means local’, Alpine Health has developed from a humble assemblage of three small health services in 1996 to (become) the largest employer in Alpine Shire.

“(It is) a sought-after provider of home care services and a training provider that is seeking to launch much-needed nurse education programs locally, nationally and internationally.

“We…and our committed staff look forward to providing on-going community health support into the future.”

But the board said the sustainability of the service was at risk.

“Our plans to replace ageing infrastructure have not been supported by government and our core function – our ability to provide modern aged care facilities for locals – has been eroded by government support for private enterprise facilities in Bright and Myrtleford,” Mr King wrote.

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