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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 6803

Ms LEY (Farrer) (13:52): I rise to note a very important event tomorrow in my electorate and in my hometown of Albury. After much fanfare and lengthy planning, it will be my pleasure to help open the new Albury-Wodonga cardiac catheter laboratory. Locally, for the first time, specialists will have diagnostic imaging equipment to visualise a person's heart, the surrounding arteries and chambers to assess any serious abnormalities. This new, state-of-the-art facility means that local patients and carers no longer have to travel great distances to get the professional or immediate care they need. Previously, a patient might need to have been ferried to Melbourne, often by air ambulance, adding unnecessary extra pressure and cost to the public health system. The cardiac cath lab will commence operation from Monday, with local staff and professionals supported by St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne to ensure the best possible care. There are extra support areas for carers and staff, along with six recovery and day beds catering for an estimated 1,600 procedures annually. From next year, we're also looking at providing additional interventional services, such as stents and pacemakers.

How did this all come about? It was from a federal coalition commitment of $5 million in the 2014 budget, cooperation with the Victorian department of health and local campaigners who lobbied for this great day to occur. It will occur—it happens tomorrow—and together we will be able to improve the heart health of Albury-Wodonga and the surrounding communities.