HAMILTON hospital bosses are facing a frustrating battle to save the National Centre for Farmer Health with the major parties so far unwilling to promise $500,000 to keep the centre alive.
While parks and recreation spots around the marginal seat of Corangamite continue to score thousands in election promises, Hamilton is struggling to get the small amount needed for the centre to remain open.
Western District Health Service (WDHS) chief executive Jim Fletcher said Canberra had paid little interest in the pioneering service that was forced to axe its flagship sustainable farm families program in June because of fund shortages.
“It’s very difficult to understand why the government won’t come up with the funding ... we’re asking for roughly a million, that’s not a lot of money in the scheme of things,” Mr Fletcher said.
The Victorian government has given its backing to the centre, which is now waiting on the Commonwealth.
“We had a further deputation with state Health Minister David Davis and he said there would be $250,000 from the state government on a recurring basis,” Mr Fletcher said.
Wannon candidates have not made any promises for the remaining funds needed annually.
Liberal MP Dan Tehan has promised to make healthcare a cornerstone of his re-election campaign and will meet with WDHS later this week.
“He’s indicated his support and has gone in to bat for us but he really needs to step up to the plate,” Mr Fletcher said.
Labor contender Michael Barling is also understood to be visiting the centre during his campaign.
Meanwhile, the Coalition has no plans to reverse Commonwealth health cuts to Victorian hospitals, despite vocal criticism of the move last year.