ERH specialist services are going flat out

June 16, 2017

Craig Frew at Echuca Regional Health

ECHUCA Regional Health is busier than ever.

With an increase in the incidence of cancer, chemotherapy treatments have jumped 40 per cent in the past three years.

Since 2014, patient admissions were up 14 per cent to 10,200 while emergency presentations jumped 18 per cent to 20,655.

There were 3780 theatre procedures in the past financial year — a 9 per cent rise — and 335 births, 13 more than 2014.

The figures were announced at ERH’s recent community board meeting.

ERH’s cancer services were also highlighted at the meeting.

In 2006, ERH had one oncology clinic a month with one visiting oncologist and the chemotherapy unit was open twice a week.

Eleven years later, it has cancer care co-ordination roles, a McGrath breast care nurse and prostate cancer and cancer support nurses.

Its weekly oncology and haematology clinics have five visiting specialists and the chemotherapy unit is open five days a week.

Dr Rene Stolwyk and Lauren Arthurson presented a report on teleneuropsychology in stroke rehabilitation.

Ms Arthurson said the world-first service improved neuropsychology access for regional Victoria, impacting patients in changes with cognition, attention and concentration.

Looking to the future, ERH hopes to appoint a clinical director of medicine; carry out specialist physician training; expand specialist orthopaedic services, including establishing a fracture clinic; and strengthen general practitioner advanced skills training, including in emergency medicine.

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