Upper Derwent Valley health services boost

A $3 million project to boost health and community service infrastructure in the Derwent Valley has been announced by Health Minister Lara Giddings. It includes upgrades to the former Ouse District Hospital (now called the Central Highlands Community Health Centre), four “independent living units”, additional aged care placements at New Norfolk, and a new community transport vehicle.

“I am delighted that such a positive set of services and investment has been agreed after months of working closely with the community to design better services,” Ms Giddings said. “I thank the members of the consultative committee and the Central Highlands Council for their contribution to what I believe will be an exemplary health and social care service that will grow over time.

“This plan takes an integrated approach – it tackles both the health infrastructure and housing and telecommunications challenges the area faces. The community relies heavily on their local GP and part of the capital program involves upgrading the GP consulting rooms with an improved waiting area and administrative office.

“Funding will also go towards transferring to the local council five public housing units co-located at the health centre site and upgrading them to achieve a village-like feel. Supporting the elderly forms a significant part of this plan, with $1.2 million going towards the construction of four new independent living units suitable for frail residents, plus new high-care packages and support for residential care places in New Norfolk,” Ms Giddings said.

Ms Giddings said the plan included:

  • $1 million to improve and upgrade the Ouse Community and Health Centre site;
  • $1.2 to design and construct four new accessible units for the frail and aged;
  • $100,000 towards upgrading and transferring five public housing units to the Central Highlands Council;
  • $422,500 partnership between Telstra and DHHS Telehealth to improve telehealth facilities, including the integration of leading edge technologies that will maximise the additional mobile phone coverage being installed near Hamilton and Ouse;
  • $600,000 towards supporting Corumbene Nursing Home at New Norfolk in its application for additional high care places from the Australian Government; and
  • A new all-wheel-drive community transport vehicle to be based at Ouse to transport residents to medical appointments and other health related activities.

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