House debates

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Statements by Members

Mallee Electorate: Rural and Regional Health Services

1:39 pm

Photo of Anne WebsterAnne Webster (Mallee, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On Australia Day in 2019, Scott Umback, the picture of health and fitness and father of two young boys, lost his life to an undiagnosed and completely unexpected heart condition. He was a leader in the Mildura community and the husband of Katrina, who met with me recently. Scott was never offered an angiogram, which could have diagnosed his condition. The reason? The service is not available in Mildura. His only option would have been to travel 600 kilometres to Melbourne. Ever since this tragedy occurred, Katrina has devoted herself to promoting heart health and exploring the possibility of establishing a new cardiac service in Mildura. I'm impressed by her resolve and commitment to make sure others do not lose a loved one in this preventable way, as she has.

Access to high-quality health care in regional and rural areas has always been a key and high priority for me. It has been a pleasure and is a pleasure to support Katrina in her goal to establish in Mildura a catheterisation laboratory with an angiogram service. I've engaged local experts from the public and private hospitals, and got the advice of an interventional cardiologist from Melbourne. I've also taken this need to the minister for regional services, Mark Coulton. I look forward to continuing to work with Katrina to address this essential healthcare need in our region.