Dear Members,

I hope everyone is keeping safe and to those who haven’t been able to escape the winter chills, bear with us, the sun is on the way.

The forthcoming November State Election is seeing our major parties making promises from aquatic centres, football oval upgrades and further development of private tourist facilities on the island, with more to come. In the meantime, PIMHAG has discussed our future with the Liberal candidate for Bass, Aaron Brown, and we are endeavouring to finalise meetings with the Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier and our local Member for Bass, Jordan Crugnale.

Our PIMHAG AGM will be held on 5th October, 5:30-7:00 pm, at Phillip Island RSL and we are delighted to have Jan Child, CEO Bass Coast Health, to be our guest speaker.

Jan will be able to give us the latest reports on the building of the Phillip Island Community Hospital, and the programs that will be offered there.

We will also be able to receive an update on the mental health support proposed for Phillip Island. This is an evening not to be missed!

The Community Hospital is expected to be opened in late 2024, after a 2 year build. It is our understanding that the State Government has advertised for a Project Manager to oversee the completion of all the 10 proposed Community Hospitals.

As you are aware, the Community Hospital will be built on the PICAL site, and we are pleased to see that the new buildings for PICAL, in Warley Avenue, are underway, and issues surrounding the construction of a Community Garden in Blue Gum Reserve, have been resolved. This, in turn, enables the the building of the Hospital to commence no later than November, this year.

It is worth noting that the sites for several Community Hospitals in Melbourne, have recently been purchased, and their communities informed of building timelines. We have been fortunate that have sought input to the design and community needs.

Planning is also underway for a Street Meet and Greet BBQ for Saturday October 1st. A separate notice will be forwarded shortly.

We have come a long way since the closure of Warley Hospital, but there is still a long way to go before the opening of our new Community Hospital.

I thank all the PIMHAG Committee and members, for their tireless support and advocacy for our community.

If you have any queries at all, please contact our Secretary, Linda Marston on 0428 344 726.

Kind regards,

Peter Paul

President PIMHAG

June 2, 2022

It’s been a while but we’re back!!!

You’ve probably all seen these words:

The new PICAL building is to begin shortly.

Your new Community Hospital is coming soon.

What exactly do these statements mean? PIMHAG would really like to know because, as you know, one is dependent on the other.

Let’s look at what we do know so far:

In March 2020, the land that the Phillip Island Community and Learning Centre (PICAL) currently sits on, at 56-58 Church Street, Cowes, was purchased by the Department of Health for the promised Community Hospital. Even though PICAL had expressed concern that the land recommended by the Bass Coast Shire Council (BCSC) in Warley Avenue, Cowes, was too small for its growing services, the Council purchased this land for PICAL’s relocation.

Since this purchase took place, there has been delay after delay for the commencement of the building of PICAL’s new premises, which, if it continues, will result in delay to the construction of the Community Hospital.

Island Voice and PIMHAG have asked questions and expressed their dismay over the delays but have received no answers nor explanations from BCSC.

In addition, due to the land on Warley Avenue being too small to accommodate the PICAL Community Garden, the Council agreed to relocate this popular community asset to the Blue Gum Reserve, and to grant PICAL the rights to the soon-to-be vacated CFA buildings, for training space. But now it is our understanding that the Council has allocated this training space to other community groups and that PICAL will need to reduce the number of programs being offered at this location.

The community is yet to be told the costs of these relocations and just what we will get for our money. Will we see a new PICAL that can still offer an increasing number of courses and programs? Will we have a community garden with sufficient accommodation for training courses? Will PICAL be relocated in sufficient time for the promised construction of the Community Hospital to proceed on schedule?

We need BCSC to come to the party and tell the community what is going on. Why the delays in commencement of the new PICAL building? The relocation of PICAL must be completed by November, 2022 as PICAL has nowhere else to go. We need PICAL, a much loved and respected local institution, to be treated with decency by the Council and we need the new Community Hospital to be able to open on time in 2024.

Is this too much to ask?

By the way, PIMHAG is going to ask the State Government to more precise in the date for the opening of the Community Hospital.

Lastly, we haven’t forgotten about our partly planned Community Forum (so rudely interrupted by COVID). We hope that we will be able to run it later this year (perhaps September or October). We’ll keep you posted.


August 16, 2020

Notice of the 2020 Phillip Island Medical and Health Action Group Inc.  Annual General Meeting is hereby given.

It will be held on Sept 10th 2020 Online via Zoom at 5.30pm

The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

  1.  Welcome and apologies
  2.   Acceptance of the minutes of previous AGM
  3.   Annual Report including the Annual Financial Statement
  4.   Elections for Committee of Management positions
  5. Conduct a ballot on Special Resolutions (if any received)
Special Resolution:  That the membership fee be increased to $10 per annum.
Rationale: Currently the PIMHAG membership fee is set at $5 annually.  Insurance is the major annual expense for our organisation.  Unfortunately this has increased significantly over the last few years.  This increase is to help cover the necessary expenses of running the organisation.

6.  Announce Life Membership(s) of PIMHAG (if any received)

Conducting an AGM via Zoom during a pandemic, is a new and different situation.  To track attendance and voting automatically, this AGM will be limited to financial members and require that attendees pre-register by the 7th Sept.  After pre-registration, approved members will be sent a unique invitation to the meeting.

Pre-registration can be performed via:

Nomination forms for Committee accompany this notice or are available from the secretary at  Completed nominations must be received by the secretary by 5.30 on the 3rd Sept 2020.

PIMHAG 2020 Committee nomination form



March 15, 2019

So much has happened regarding medical services for people on Phillip Island in the last few months.

The Minor Injury and Illness Centre (MIIC) is up and running, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and has seen, so far, approximately 2,500 people.  What a great service and the community has embraced it with much enthusiasm.

Now for the next stage.  The  MIIC is currently in the process of being upgraded to an Urgent Care Centre (UCC),  which will see many more services being available at the Hub.  This is expected to be ready around June of this year.  However, as much of the equipment has to come from overseas, we need to be a little patient.

The third stage of the Hub development is the additional upgrade to a Community Hospital.  As part of the planning, the community is invited to nominate to participate in the Community Consultative Committee, chaired by our state Member of Parliament, The Hon. Jordan Crugnale.   This committee will be the focus for ideas of what needs to be included in the hospital.

Below, you can find the Terms of Reference for this committee and the progam for the development of the 10 Community Hospitals in Victoria.

If you are interested in having a seat on this committee for Phillip Island, you are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest on-line now, using the links below.



December 18, 2018

Well, here we are, just a week before Christmas, and with an exciting piece of news for Phillip Island’s residents and visitors.

The State Government and Bass Coast Health have just announced the commencement of Minor Injury and Illness Clinic at the Phillip Island Health Hub, starting this Friday, December 21, at 10:00 pm and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  And this is just the beginning!!!!

Please read all about it below, and be aware that the care is for MINOR illnesses or injuries and does NOT replace the local GP clinic or the Emergency Department at Wonthaggi Hospital.

I would encourage anyone who would like to receive personal updates of expanding services at the Hub, to email Nikki Loughran, the Public Relations Manager at Bass Coast Health, (email address is on the press release through the link) and request that your name be added to the ‘Friends of the Health Hub’ list.

Also, please note that the phone number for the Minor Illness and Injury Clinic at the Hub is 5951 2101 while the phone number for all other Hub services is 5951 2100

I wish all who read this, a very, very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.


Monday 17 December 2018


Phillip Island residents and visitors will have access to 24/7 health care for minor illnesses and injuries at Bass Coast Health’s (BCH) Phillip Island Health Hub starting before Christmas. 

Following the Andrews Government’s commitment to have a round-the-clock service up and running in time for the peak summer period, BCH has been working with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to make this vision a reality. 

The good news is that everything is on track to deliver a service on the Island by Christmas.

The Minor Injury and Illness Clinic, staffed by a doctor and a nurse, will be available 24 hours a day from the existing Phillip Island Health Hub. The service will be supported by telehealth to clinicians at the Wonthaggi Hospital and there are strong partnerships in place with Ambulance Victoria and the local GP clinic to ensure the range of healthcare services are coordinated.

While the Minor Injury and Illness Clinic will operate 24/7, serious health care needs, such as chest pain, strokes and fractures, will all continue to be treated at the Wonthaggi Hospital Emergency Department.  The Minor Illness and Injury Clinic will not have access to Radiology, Pharmacy or Pathology services beyond the current opening hours of local providers. People needing these services will be transferred to Wonthaggi Hospital where extended services are available.

According to BCH CEO Jan Child, the provision of a safe service is the most important consideration. “This Minor Injury and Illness Clinic is not intended to replace the current GP service which will continue to be available.  And it is certainly not an Emergency Department. Patients with serious illnesses or injuries should continue to call 000 for an Ambulance or go to the Wonthaggi Hospital”. 

People with serious illnesses or injuries need to have the support of hospital-grade services such as Radiology, Pathology, Pharmacy and Specialist Emergency Doctors to safely treat serious illnesses such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, pregnancy complications, fractures, sudden severe headaches, severe burns, severe abdominal pain, decreased consciousness and blurred vision.  

“Patient Safety is our highest priority and we need to make sure that people understand that the best care for serious illnesses will always be provided by an accredited Emergency Department such as Wonthaggi, or by our very skilled Ambulance Victoria paramedics”.

The Minor Injury and Illness Service will have a doctor and a nurse available to safely provide care for people presenting with minor ailments such as minor cuts and burns, earaches, fevers, sprains/strains, rashes and infections.  They will not be equipped to provide critical and emergency care and people should continue to use the Wonthaggi ED or call 000. 

BCH is also working with builders and architects to transition a space within the Health Hub into the Urgent Care Service by early 2019. Design of the Urgent Care Service has commenced and will feature treatment areas, including a resuscitation bay. It will have the increased capacity to deliver a broader range of health care services so that Phillip Island residents and visitors can access safe and quality health care closer to home, 24 hours a day.

BCH and DHHS will commence planning for the delivery of a community hospital on the site in 2019. This will see the Hub able to deliver more services to the community over time.  Updates will be provided as soon as the planning is more progressed. “In the interim, we are thrilled to be making a doctor and a nurse available to fill the current 24 hour gap and we will grow our services safely as time moves forward”. 

BCH is very keen for the community to keep up-to-date about the latest developments in 24/7 health care on Phillip Island and are encouraging people to join the ‘Friends of the Health Hub’ email list to keep up to date and receive information such as a Frequently Asked Questions information sheet to understand the Health Hub’s capabilities as they increase over time.

For more information please contact the BCH Public Relations Manager at or call 03 5671 9208.

Well, who would have imagined that we would be in the situation where the two major parties, LNP and ALP, are trying to outdo each other, with promises of urgent, after hours medical care on Phillip Island?

The seat of Bass, is now marginal and both parties, having heard the loud voices of the community, led by PIMHAG, that the number l issue on the island is after hours medical care, have finally listened.

Below you will find the press releases of both parties in relation to their promises for the delivery of round-the-clock medical care.

We are now able to have a choice when we vote on November 24.

If any more information comes to light before the election, we will post it on the web-site and also our Face Book page.


May 31, 2018

An invitation to the 2018 Annual General Meeting

You are cordially invited to the PIMHAG AGM, to be held on June 28, 2018, at 5 pm, in the ANZAC Room at the Phillip Island RSL, 220 Thompson Avenue, Cowes.

The meeting will include an overview of the achievements of the past 12 months, our plans for the next 12 months and the election of the 2018/19 committee.

Following the AGM business, there will be a presentation by Dr. George Grigoriadis, Haematologist, who will speak about his vision for his work at the new Phillip Island Health Hub.

Current members will be able to renew their memberships ($5) for the coming financial year and non-members will have the opportunity to join our organisation and assist PIMHAG in intensely lobbying for after-hours health care on Phillip Island.

Following the meeting, refreshments will be available for purchase from the RSL.

We do hope you can join us.

For more information, please email Jenny at


April 22, 2018

The start of a new era in health care on  Phillip Island

At last!  Finally!  After a 10 year battle, with PIMHAG fiercely lobbying all levels of government for the provision of much needed medical facilities, the Phillip Island Health Hub has been officially opened.

Yesterday, we witnessed the culmination of extraordinary collaboration between the Federal, State and Local Governments, the Warley Trust and the community, with the official opening taking place in front of a large number of invited guests.

Following a welcome to guests by local Indigenous elder, Steve Ulula Parker, the Hub was officially opened by the Hon Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Health and Member for Flinders; Hon Jill Hennessy, State Minister for Health; Cr Pam Rothfield, Mayor of Bass Coast Shire and Don Paproth, Chair, Bass Coast Health.

Official Opening of the Phillip Island Health Hub. Participants: L to R Hon Brian Paynter, Member for Bass; Don Paproth, Chair, Bass Coast Health; Hon Jill Hennessy, State Minister for Health; Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health; Cr. Pam Rothfield, Mayor, Bass Coast Shire; Hon Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Health and Member for Flinders.
The plaque recording the official opening of the Hub

Following the speeches, which also included one from David Luscombe from the Warley Trust, guests were invited to take a tour of the facilities and were most impressed by the amount of space, the great design and the use of historical Phillip Island photos and photos of our local wild life, to make this a welcoming place.

Taking pride of place in the reception area is an iconic surf board, painted by Steve Ulula Parker to signify the importance of health to the community.  The painting, in traditional indigenous style, reflects the travels of the people of Phillip Island towards good health, and incorporates Phillip Island environmental landmarks and the colours of the land and sea.

Indigenous elder, Steve Ulula Parker, welcomes the guests to the  official opening.
Steve Ulula Parker, explaining the significance of the images he has painted on the surfboard, which hangs in the reception area of the Hub.

Services from the Hub will commence on Monday, April 30, 2018.

If you are interested in helping to raise funds for more equipment for the Hub, by joining the proposed Auxiliary, information sessions will be held at the Hub, 50 to 54 Church St.,  Cowes, at both 10 am and 5 pm on Wednesday, May 2.

It’s not too late to take a tour.  There are two more opportunities for you to see our new facility: between 4 pm and 6 pm on Friday, May 4 and Wednesday, May 9.


March 14, 2018

After 9 long years of lobbying politicians and bureaucrats, PIMHAG is delighted that the first stage of their work has been achieved, with completion and forthcoming official opening of the Phillip Island Health Hub next month, on a date soon to be confirmed.

The building is complete and the outside is almost finished and Bass Coast Health staff are currently organising the fitting out and setting up of the furniture and equipment.  They will then spend time in testing everything and making sure all is in order for the official start of services.

The community will be invited to Open Days, where everyone will have the chance to have a guided tour of our new Hub and learn what services will be available, right here in the heart of Cowes.  The dates of the Open Days will be published on this site, in the local newspapers and on posters around the island.  So stay tuned.

Here are some recent photos of the outside and there will be more to come soon.

PIMHAG members will be out on the streets of Cowes, at Woolworths, Coles and the Newsagency, betweem 10 am and 2 pm, on Easter Saturday, March 31, 2018.  We hope many people will come and talk to us about our plans for 2018 and learn more about what will be available through the Hub.


November 1, 2017

Some interesting information, especially for Phillip Island residents and visitors. The following is the second in the series of the results of the PIMHAG survey, carried out last year.  This part of the survey deals with where people accessed medical services and how they were able to get there.  It also has information about transport options for people on Phillip Island and its surrounding community.  

PIMHAG Survey 2017 – Where do we go to for medical care? How do we get there?

 This is the second article presenting findings from the 2017 PIMHAG Health Survey which ran from Christmas 2016 until Easter 2017.

In the last 5 years almost two-thirds of people (183) surveyed went off-island to access Medical services 563 times. The vast majority (91%) made these off-island trips by car, either their own, or one provided by Bass Coast Health or the RSL who both use volunteer drivers. A doughty few (less than 1%) used public transport to get to such services, presumably because there are such extremely limited transport options available. Very few people (6%) w ere transported by ambulance, indicating that people were travelling for non-urgent appointments.

Importantly, the vast majority of services accessed off-island, were accessed either in central Melbourne (211), or destinations along the way such as Berwick, Frankston, Dandenong or Casey, with a further fifth (113) accessed in Wonthaggi. By contrast, only 13 visits accessed health services at Traralgon. This is significant because it shows that whilst the planners in the Victorian health department would have us believe that La Trobe Regional Hospital at Traralgon is the hospital of choice for people from this area, these findings clearly contradict this. This is not surprising when one considers that it takes as long to drive to Traralgon as it does to reach Melbourne facilities. Also most people on Phillip Island and San Remo have connections in the Melbourne area, be it existing medical networks or family support. Add to this the fact that travelling  towards Melbourne ensures  a greater choice of specialists and facilities, who some rate as better qualified, then it is not surprising that the Phillip Island and San Remo community would tend to turn left at Anderson to access medical services, unless they are specifically heading to Wonthaggi.

Ambulance and other Services

Almost half of the permanent residents (100/224), who responded to the survey, needed an Ambulance at some time during the last 5 years. Virtually all of them (98) dialled 000, of these 82 waited for the ambulance and 10 organised their own transport immediately. The others waited for a while and then organised transport themselves. Ten of those who organised their own transport did so because they were informed by the operator that there was ‘no ambulance available on the island’ or because the response time would be longer than it would take them to be driven to the hospital at Wonthaggi. When the Ambulance did respond, over half (55.4%) of them arrived in 15 minutes or less.

On-call telephone services were under-utilised, with only 16.6% of respondents having used them. The reasons given for doing this included not being able to access after-hours care, GP unavailable, needing some advice and using it as a method of triage to know whether they needed to go to the hospital or call an Ambulance. However, several respondents found the service unsatisfactory ‘finding it useless’ or that they were simply told ‘to go to the hospital’. These services do not feature strongly as part of people’s initial response to health care issues, at least for this community.

Service usage indicates that the people of Phillip Island and San Remo need access to a variety of specialist services on the island to reduce significant amounts of travel and personal disruption. This is even more important for older people who are no longer drive and may not have family available to assist them, as public transport options are virtually non-existent. Improving Wonthaggi hospital to a sub-regional status would help prevent so many trips to Melbourne and its environs.

Assistance Available to get people to Medical Appointments

 Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS).

Patients needing to travel more than 100 kms may be able to apply for assistance with transport and accommodation costs under this scheme. The patient needs to have a heathcare, pensioner or veteran’s card. A single trip needs to be over 100 kilometres or the patient must travel more than 500 kilometres per week for five weeks. It is worthwhile noting that air travel is included in this cover. For details see

 Bass Coast Health Volunteer Transport Service (from their website)

Volunteer Drivers transport clients to medical appointments; treatments; admissions and discharges when no other means of transport is available to the client.  Transport trips can be made locally or further distances such as Melbourne, Traralgon and areas in between. There is a nominal distance-related fee attached to this service.  If you are interested in becoming a BCH volunteer driver, or using this service, please call the Volunteer Manager on (03) 5671 3372

Phillip Island RSL (details from the website

The Phillip Island RSL provides medical transport to members on and off the island for a small fee. The type of membership you have will affect the order of priority to receive the service and is Service, Affiliate and then Social members. The organisation requires two weeks’ notice to arrange a volunteer driver but cannot always guarantee that the service will be available. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver for the RSL, or using this service,  please contact Welfare Services on 5952 1004 during business hours.

Red Cross Patient Transport

The Red Cross Patient Transport Service assists people with transport to specialist medical appointments. The service is free and operates throughout Victoria. As Red Cross cars are driven by volunteers, not paid paramedics, patients may be required to provide a carer to look after them during the trip. The service does not take bookings directly from patients. Only the medical centre the patient is visiting can make the booking, so patients must ask their doctor to make the booking. The patient needs to confirm the booking two days before the trip.


The commencement of the Bass Coast Health, Hospital in the Home program, is indeed welcome news.  Have a read of the media release about the program, which gives important information about who can access it and how the process works.  From my sources, I understand that this is a growing program, responding to the needs of the residents of Bass Coast, and has been eagerly adopted by people on Phillip Island.

You can also find the link to a video, made by a Bass Coast family, for whom Hospital in the Home, was an absolute godsend.

BCH brings the hospital to your home

Friday 15 September 2017


Bass Coast Health (BCH) officially launched their Hospital in the Home program this week which will benefit many people within the community – possibly you or someone you know.

BCH’s Hospital in the Home (HITH) program enables patients to continue their hospital treatment in the comfort of their own home. This allows patients to return home earlier whilst still being cared for by experienced health professionals. The program is staffed by highly skilled and experienced nurses, supported by credentialed general practitioners, and overseen by the Director of Emergency Medicine Assoc. Prof. Garry Wilkes.

HITH is provided by many hospitals around Australia and the program is designed for eligible people of all ages who have been admitted to hospital and are considered stable, but who still require further treatment in order to fully recover.

The treatments available vary considerably and cover a broad range of needs, such as the management of infections, complex wound care management, intravenous antibiotic therapy and anticoagulation for various conditions. Each treatment is tailored to suit the individual needs of the patient.

The BCH nurses heading up this program are Angela Fraser and Karlie Hall, who both have extensive nursing experience and are passionate about providing this service to the local community.

“There are so many benefits to patients being able to recover in the comfort and familiarity of their own home environment”, says Karlie. “The home is safer than a hospital environment. It’s often quieter and more relaxing, with patients able to be easily supported by their family and friends”.

Angela points out that there are other additional benefits that may not be readily apparent, “There is less need for the stress and expense of sometimes having to travel long distances or find overnight accommodation to receive treatments”, she said. “Patients also enjoy a greater overall sense of wellbeing and have better outcomes when treated at home, and have less chance of experiencing complications such as delirium or infections”.

The program also has benefits for BCH’s hospital at Wonthaggi, as it enables existing beds to be available for people who have more complex needs

Bass Coast residents are eligible to receive the free service, provided they meet certain criteria. For people residing outside of the Bass Coast shire, eligibility is determined on a case-by-case assessment. Referrals will be also be accepted from other hospitals to allow people in the Bass Coast shire to come home sooner.

The HITH service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Angela and Karlie are very excited about seeing the service grow to meet the needs of the broader community in the future.

For more information about BCH’s Hospital in the Home service, please call 5671 3384 or see HITH’s page on BCH’s website at under the ‘Services’ tab.

I do hope you enjoy reading these articles and watching the video.  PIMHAG will bring more media publications about health and well-being on Phillip Island.

October 16, 2017

It’s been quite a while since this news was updated.  However, things have been moving along at a steady pace.  Following, is the latest message from the President, Peter Paul.

Dear PIMHAG Members,

Congratulations to all our committee members and volunteers over the past two weeks, for spending time at Coles, Woolworths and the Newsagent, gathering over 170 new members for PIMHAG.  We welcome your support.  It is important to PIMHAG to keep building our membership base, as we negotiate with State and Federal politicians for better medical and health facilities for Phillip Island and the Bass Coast. 

For those who have driven past the Hub, being built in Church Street, you can see the fruits of our labour thus far, and it is anticipated that the Hub will be opened in April next year.  We look forward to announcing what facilities will be in the Hub on opening day.

We continue to negotiate for better services at Wonthaggi Hospital, which include 24 hour, up to date emergency care, and an updated maternity wing.

The committee welcomes any comments regarding the needs of our community.  Our fundamental aim is to see that what can be treated locally, is treated locally.


Peter Paul 


The Hub is coming along in leaps and bounds as you can see from the pictures below and is on target and on budget.

PIMHAG has just completed a supporter drive and we are delighted to say that we have now doubled our membership as we welcomed 171 new supporters over the last 3 weekends.  Things are going to be getting busier as we come closer to finding out just what will be in the Hub and we will be calling on members to help in future fund-raising activities.

A note of diasappointment though.  In last week’s Advertiser, it was announced that the State Government has not agreed to funding a super pharmacy here on Phillip Island.  However, we have not given up and are currently reviewing our strategies to make this necessary service a reality.  Have a read and if you are concerned about the lack of interest shown by the government, then please let your representatives know about it.

Advertiser article No super pharmacy for island

July 5

A New Year Begins

On June 27, PIMHAG held its first AGM, as an incorporated organisation.

We were very happy to welcome some new members who are enthusiastic about PIMHAG’s direction and are keen to help.

The members ratified the new committee, which has a few changes.  It is now a committee of 12 with one new member, Greg Mead, to whom we give a very warm welcome.  In the photo below are the committee members who were at the AGM.  From left to right:  Greg Mead, Jenny Lonergan, Gill Scrase, Bob Pascoe, John Matthews (Vice President), Peter Paul (President), Bruce Procter.  Missing were: Linda Marston (Secretary), Gary Simmons (Treasurer) and committee members Peter Osborne, Robyn Dixon and Keith Jobe.

In addition, we acknowledged two stalwarts of PIMHAG, to whom we presented the first ever Lifetime Memberships.  Jock McKechnie and Graeme Cock are names that just automatically go together with PIMHAG.  Take a look at our special page of Life Memberships to read the citations for these two wonderful contributors to the Philip Island community.

                    Jock McKechnie                                                           Graeme Cock

Now, PIMHAG is focusing on two major issues: ensuring that Phillip Island has access to 24/7 urgent care and, together with the Phillip Island Progress Association and the Bass Coast Rate Payers and Residents Association, demand that the Government take action to provide a master plan for the future of the Wonthaggi Hospital.  The hospital for this region needs to be at least to sub-regional standard, which will either mean small amounts of money spent to upgrade the dilapidated facilities bit by bit, or a lot of money to bulldoze the existing hospital and rebuild.  Which ever way the government decides to go, there needs to be a long-term plan.  The community deserves nothing less than to enjoy the same standard of medical services available to so many other Victorian regional and rural areas.

PIMHAG will be urging all community members to join us to make sure we are heard by those who make the decisions.

As you are reading this, please consider joining our organisation as health matters to everyone and we need your voices.  To join, just go to our Membership page, complete the form and put $5 directly into the PIMHAG bank account – it’s that simple.

Have you driven past the Hub on Church Street?  Here’s what it looks like now.  It’s coming along in leaps and bounds.

June 6

An important milestone

Yesterday, June 5, was a red letter day when we gathered to witness the turning of the sod at the site of our new Health and Medical Hub.

Officiating at the ceremony, were the Federal Minister of Health and Sport and Member for Flinders, Hon. Greg Hunt, the Member for Bass, Brian Paynter and the Mayor of Bass Coast Shire, Pamela Rothfield.  Also in attendance were Jan Child, CEO and Paul Greenhalgh, Executive Director Primary and Community Care, of Bass Coast Health.

050617 Media Release – Construction begins on Phillip Island Health and Medical Hub

Since its inception, PIMHAG (as it is now known) has fought tirelessly for this facility, and, while some of the original members, Jim West and Tom Beaton, have since passed away, there are some who have continued to keep fighting for the last 8 years, including Jock McKechnie, Gabby Fenech and Graeme Cock.

Enjoy the photos of the sod turning.




But wait: there’s more

The  Minister of Health made another exciting announcement as he was turning the sod.

The Federal Government has committed funds for mental health for the young, in Bass and South Gippsland.  The program headspace, will be operational throughout the region, including Phillip Island, where it is envisaged this much needed service will be offered from the Hub.  Click on the link below to read the Media Release.

17-06-05 Hunt – Media Release – New headspace centre for Bass Coast region (2)

May 19, 2017

We’re off and running!!

So great to see that the pre-construction phase has started immediately after the announcement of the winning tender.

The house on the land has been removed and now the site is being cleared of the large sheds that have sat there for a very long time.

May 3, 2017

Exciting news!!!

The Advertiser has just published an article announcing the winner of the construction tender for the Phillip Island Health Hub.  The winner is  local company, TS Constructions, who will begin construction within the next few weeks.

Here are some artist’s impressions of what the Hub will look like:

Now, more community consultations will commence, with the CEO of Bass Coast Health, Jan Child, stating the importance of providing the right medical services when the Hub opens in 2018.

A new Phillip Island Community Consultative Committee (PICAG) will be set up to provide advice to the BCH Board and Executive about what the community needs from the Hub.  PIMHAG will be a part of this group, which will also be comprised of representatives of local sporting clubs, schools and other community organisations. This is to make sure that the diverse voices of the Phillip Island community are all able to contribute to the decisions about the services provided.

According to Jan Child, one of the first jobs of this group, will be to ‘…brainstorm best practice models of care that might meet the 24 hour health needs of Phillip Islanders.  This will include development of services such as Hospital in the Home and telemedicine.’

In addition to this exciting news, it has also been announced by the Federal Government that $25,000 is being provided for an investigation into ‘innovative models’ for after hours care at the new Hub.

This is all very welcome news and we hope that the residents of the area will take advantage of the opportunities for having a say in the services that are needed.

PIMHAG is actively seeking new members to be a part of this very important community group.  Especially, we would like to see young adults and parents of dependent children join us to put forward your ideas, and assistance in working towards fantastic medical and health facilities on Phillip Island.  If you are interested in joining us, please either send a message to Jenny on our Facebook page or phone 0418 177 998.

April 30,  2017

Following the workshop on ‘Fostering Health Innovation and Partnerships’, there have been radio interviews given by some of the key players. Here is one, broadcast on 3AW, with the General Manager of Siemens Healthineers, Peter Sprysznski.

Just click below to be taken to the link.

Another interview, with the Mayor of Bass Coast Shire, Pamela Rothfield, was held with Red Symons on the ABC Breakfast Show.  Have a listen.

April 27, 2017 (further update to the news item of April 22)

Hope you enjoy reading the follow up to our very successful workshop ‘Fostering Healthcare Innovation and Partnerships’, co-sponsored by Siemens Healthineers and PIMHAG.

Just click on the links to read the full articles.

These articles appeared in the Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser yesterday:

Review of Innovation weekend PISRA Page 1 (1)Review of Innovation weekend PISRA Page 3

PISRA PIMHAG meeting with Shadow ministers_Page002

The following link is to an article which appeared in the Age today (April 27, 2017)

April 26, 2017 (an update to the last news item of April 22)

What an exciting couple of days we, at PIMHAG, have had.  Last Sunday, many of the participants attending the special ‘Fostering Healthcare Innovation and Partnerships’ workshops, came together for an informal get-together at the Phillip Island Winery.  It was wonderful for all those involved to be able to chat, face-to-face, over lovely food and wine and to be able to introduce some of the participants to one of Phillip Island’s favourite venues.

Some of the workshop partcipants enjoying the fare at the Phillip Island Winery

The following day, the Sunday group, plus several others, including Hon Greg Hunt, MHR for Flinders and Federal Minister for Health, Brian Paynter, State Member for Bass and the Mayor of Bass Coast Shire, Pamela Rothfield, met at the Nobbies Centre for the workshop.

L to R: Member for Bass, Brian Paynter, Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Pamela Rothfield and Greg Hunt, Member for Flinders and Federal Health Minister

The organisation of the workshop and the bringing together of representatives of the three levels of government, local representatives, such as Dr Howard McCormick, Head of the Phillip Island Medical and Aged Care Group, and Destination Phillip Island Chairman, John Pandazopoulos with medical industry leaders, Siemens Healthineers, Genesis Care Australia and the ROC/ICON Group, was primarily the work of PIMHAG committee member, Peter Osborne, with the support of all the other committee members.

Peter Osborne, of PIMHAG, addressing the workshop participants

Also attending the workshop were other potential investors, who are excited about being able to be part of the negotiations to develop a world-class cancer treatment centre, for both private and public patients, right here on Phillip Island.  It is proposed that this centre will be the focus of a plan for medical tourism to the island, in addition to enabling Bass Coast residents to undergo some treatments locally, instead of needing to travel to Melbourne or other locations.

Pamela Rothfield, Mayor of Bass Coast Shire, meeting some of the potential investors of the project

As Greg Hunt stated, Monday’s gathering at the Nobbies was just the beginning of a process which has the potential to deliver public and private health oncology services for local residents.

I am delighted with the progress towards possible dedicated cancer radiation treatment services on Phillip Island for both residents and others who may wish to visit the island.

At the forefront of any investment are the medical needs of the Phillip Island community.  It is great to see an enthusiasm in investment for these services on the Island and paired with the new Hub, it offers enormous potential that could have a significant impact for the health and well being of Phillip Island residents and the broader Bass Coast region.

Needless to say, PIMHAG is also delighted with the enthusiasm displayed at the workshop and looks forward to being able to bring you further updates on the progress as they occur.  This whole project relies on joint private and public funding, with the first deadline for an application to Canberra being June 30.

We’ll be keeping our fingers well and truly crossed.  Stay tuned for the next instalment.

Some of the PIMHAG members at the workshop. L to R: John Matthews (Vice President), Bob Pascoe, Robyn Dixon, Graeme Cock, Gill Scrase, Linda Marston (Sec)

April 22, 2017

At PIMHAG, we are very pleased to share with you that we are co-sponsoring a special event, ‘Fostering Healthcare Innovation and Partnerships’, at the Nobbies on Monday, April 24.  In addition to working very hard to get the Hub on its way, PIMHAG is working with various groups, exploring the opportunities for more medical services for Bass Coast and especially Phillip Island.

Click on the links below to read the media brief, see who’s attending and look at the agenda for the day’s discussions.

We’ll bring you updates on the outcomes when we can.

PIMHAG Media Brief (2)


April 17, 2017

We, at PIMHAG, hope you have had a safe and most enjoyable Easter.

Our survey is now finished.  To all of you who took the time to complete it, thank you very much.  We will publish the results, just as soon as we have collated them.

April 5, 2017

Now April has arrived and where are we at?

There has been slow progress on the development of the Hub on Church Street.  However, we can report that the construction tenders have gone out and the successful tenderer should be known this month.  Once that is known, there will be an announcement and the ‘turning of the sod’ on the site should then take place.

The Federal Minister for Health, and our Federal member, the Hon Greg Hunt, published an update in his latest newsletter, stating that

The Hub will provide a range of new health and medical services in a state-of-the-art building.  More importantly, it will become part of the Wonthaggi Hospital network and will expand as the demand for health services increases.

I will continue to work with the community and the Victorian Government to deliver additional services.

This is good news to know that the Federal Government is committed to the on-going progression of the services provided by the Hub.

Now, all we need to do, is to get the State Government to remember that the Bass Coast exists and is a very important contributor to the Victorian economy.  The Member for Bass, Mr Brian Paynter recently put out a press release calling for State Government investment to bring the hospital at Wonthaggi up to the standard expected by the community.

Click on the link below to read the full media release.

MEDIA RELEASE – Brian Paynter – Wonthaggi Hospital-31032017151158

Brian Paynter has been scathing in his criticism of the Victorian Government’s lack of consideration to the needs of the Bass Coast and has accused the Premier of ignoring the many projects for health and education, that he has presented for funding consideration.  In fact, says Mr Paynter, Bass Coast has received ‘exactly zero’ (dollars) from the $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, while ‘…three Labor held electorates have shared $112 million in commitments.’

PIMHAG agrees with Brian Paynter’s assertions and, as Peter Paul, our President states, the recently announced $3.08 million commitment in funding to the Wonthaggi Hospital, ‘is but a drop in the ocean (compared to what is needed) and is mainly for infrastructure.’  PIMHAG is calling on the State Government to ensure the recently completed Clinical Services Plan is ‘transparent, accessible to the community and can be implemented with the appropriate resources being made available.’

Meanwhile, the staff of the Wonthaggi Hospital has been hard at work, doing what it can to increase the hospital standards and has been commended for its efforts by the independent assessors, who recently undertook the hospital’s 4-yearly assessment against the National Health Standards.

This month should see some increased activity occurring around the building of the Hub and the release of information regarding the Clinical Services Plan and what this means for Bass Coast, and in particular, Phillip Island.  We’ll keep you informed.