The push for a specialised dialysis unit in Benalla continued last week as Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland brought the issue to Parliament.
The Nationals made the funding of the unit an election commitment ahead of last year’s election, however this was not matched by the Labor Government.
Ms Cleeland raised a question to the Minister for Health in Parliament last week, asking “what is stopping the Government from funding the unit?”
Members of the Benalla community, including the town’s 2021 Citizen of the Year June Howard, have campaigned for a dialysis unit to be funded in the rural city, something that would reduce the burden on patients that currently travel considerable distances for the treatment.
Currently, Benalla residents needing the tri-weekly treatment must travel to Wangaratta, Seymour, Shepparton, or Mansfield to access the essential health service.
“Few towns the size of Benalla – with 15,000 people and a functioning health service – are without a dialysis unit, and it is not due to a lack of demand,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Patients are travelling considerable distances three times a week, something that comes with both a financial and physical burden for people that are already requiring a straining medical service.
“These patients need to travel three times a week for a service that should be readily available in a town like Benalla. Neighbouring towns, including ones that are smaller, can support this service – so why can’t Benalla?”