Mildura Weekly : Friday May 29 2015 Vol 9 No 29
10 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2015 WENTWORTH’S Murray House Aged Care facility continues to grow at a rapid rate following the recent completion of a $2million expansion. Federal Minister for Health and Sport Sussan Ley, who is also the long-standing Member for Farrer, was on hand to officially open the latest expansion, which brings bed numbers at the facility to 55. The latest expansion works will accommodate an additional 12 beds while providing new activity and administration areas. Murray House chief executive officer Sid Duckett said there were two major driving forces behind the latest expansion, which was partial- ly funded by the Federal Govern- ment ($800,000). “One is demand for aged care beds,” Mr Duckett said. “Since we’ve added the new beds, they’ve been filled straight away, so that speaks for itself. But the other factor is to maintain the financial viability of a facility like this, which is terribly important. “The feeling now is that it’s pretty hard to make these places run economically unless you’ve got about 60 beds. “But the main factor was meet- ing the needs of the community.” Mr Duckett said this included providing additional employment in the district, with eight new jobs created as a result of the expansion. “It provides a real economic boost to a community like Went- worth,” he said. “Additional employment, addi- tional money we put into the com- munity, so it’s not only our viabil- ity, but the community’s.” He predicts Murray House’s next budget would pass $3.5mil- lion, 65 percent of which is com- prised of salaries and wages. In the four years since Mr Duck- ett took over as CEO, Murray House has gone through two major expan- sions, taking it from a 32-bed facil- ity to now housing 55. Ms Ley said while she was pleased the Federal Government was able to contribute to the lat- est expansion, she highlighted the community’s contribution to the project. “Murray House has been suc- cessful in different funding rounds and that’s all credit to the local committee and their hard work,” she said. “Governments have been able to partner with them to improve fa- cilities, but it is hard work (for the local committee) and the fundrais- ing efforts of this community and the donations just goes to show this facility wouldn’t be as fabulous as it is without that local commitment, so we really need to pay tribute to that.” Speaking more broadly about health and aged care, Ms Ley said while aged care facilities serve a vi- tal role, one of her major priorities in coming years will be to keep el- derly people in their homes for as long as possible. “Because of the ageing popula- tion, it’s unlikely that we’re going to be able to build high quality resi- dential facilities for everybody be- yond a certain age, and many want to stay in their homes for as long as they can,” she said. “So the two go well together. High quality residential facilities, but also the ability to keep people connected with services so they can stay in their own homes.” $2m aged care boost for Wentworth Shire residents • HAPPY DAYS: Murray House Aged Care chief executive Sid Duckett and Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley. Photo: PAUL MENSCH.
Friday May 22 2015 Vol 9 No 28
Friday June 5 2015 Vol 9 No 30