THE push for Mildura Base Hospital (MBH) to be returned to public management has gathered momentum, with Mark Gepp becoming the first member of the Victorian Government to officially back the move.
Mr Gepp, the Member for Northern Victoria, on Friday said the overwhelming view of Sunraysia residents was the need for MBH to return to public hands rather than the private management model with Ramsay Health Care.
"Over the past couple of years, since I got to parliament in early 2017, it's been one of the major issues that Mildura residents have spoken to me about," he said.
"That's why I'm now calling on the government to respond to the overwhelming wishes of the community and return Mildura Base Hospital to public hands."
Deputy Premier James Merlino this week told parliament MBH "belongs to the community, so the community should decide its future," adding that the decision would be made within weeks.
Mr Gepp said the funding cuts to MBH between 2010 and 2014 were damaging and the government was determined to get the best results for Mildura.
"One thing I know about Minister Mikakos and the Premier (Daniel Andrews) is that they pride themselves – and the government does – on listening to the community and responding to community concerns and community needs," he said.
"I felt it was important for me to represent to them the views that had been expressed to me by my constituents so that when they come to making the decisions about the future of the hospital they are taking all of that into consideration.
"And I'm very confident they will do that."