EASTERN Health says it has been forced to close beds, suspend elective surgeries and cut mental health and palliative care programs in an attempt to claw back more than $8 million after federal funding cuts.
In Knox, five surgical beds at the Angliss Hospital in Upper Ferntree Gully have temporarily closed, as well as five palliative care beds at Wantirna Health.
Eastern Health has permanently closed the Lilydale palliative care outpatients’ clinic, music therapy program and primary mental health program in Blackburn.
Other temporary suspensions include the Kool Kids Positive Parents mental health program and reduced services from the Central East Crisis Assessment Treatment Team.
Beds have also been closed at Box Hill Hospital and the Peter James Centre, and weight-loss elective surgery has been suspended.
There will also be a reduction in the number of non-urgent joint replacement operations.
Eastern Health acting chief executive Janet Compton said the organisation worked hard with staff to find solutions that had the least impact on patients, staff and the community.
Temporary suspensions and bed closures will be reviewed at the end of the financial year
Read the full story in the Knox Weekly on Wednesday.