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Former doctor airs concerns

Dr Rod Stobart has concerns about ongoing care with no after-hours care available locally. Photo – Helen Tatchell

By Lachlan Ellis

Dr Rodney Stobart is a former doctor at the Ballan Hospital and told the Moorabool News of his concerns, following the facility’s acquisition by mecwacare.

Ballan District Health & Care (BDHC), which operates Ballan Hospital, has transitioned to the ownership of mecwacare, a not-for-profit aged care and disability services provider, on 1 December.

And while mecwacare Chief Executive Michele Lewis has spoken of “continuity of care for residents and clients”, Dr Stobart has his doubts.

“The citizens of Ballan who battled so hard to get the hospital built will be rolling over in their graves,” he told the Moorabool News.

Dr Stobart arrived in Ballan in 1977, when the hospital was struggling financially and had six beds.

“Back then, Ballan had not been able to get a doctor to commit long term for many years. On occasions they were without a doctor, relying on doctors from Bacchus Marsh to visit,” he said.

“Before I came, I asked the committee to purchase some equipment: a mist tent to treat kids with croup, a monitor/defibrillator, and a humidicrib. All this equipment was put to good use…many kids with croup were able to be cared for close to home.

“The hospital was making a lot of money. On occasions, we had 110 per cent occupancy.”

Since leaving Ballan Hospital in 1983, Dr Stobart said the hospital had only managed to get one doctor to make Ballan their home.

With the hospital to be run by a group from out of Ballan, he fears the community-oriented nature of the hospital is at further risk.

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in the 11 January 2022 edition
pick up a paper around your town.