EGHS posts operating surplus

East Grampians Health Service posted an operating surplus of $230k for the financial year ended 30 June 2023.

East Grampians Health Service Board Treasurer Kym Peter reported at the annual general meeting that this financial result, while positive, came after another challenging year for the Health Service.

Mr Peter said that on September 22 2023, the Victorian Auditor General’s Office delivered their opinion that the financial report of East Grampians Health Service – ‘presents fairly, in all material aspects, the financial position of the health service as at 30 June 2023, their financial performance and cashflows for the year in accordance with the financial reporting requirements of Part 7 of the Financial Management Act 1994 and applicable Australian Accounting Standards’.

“Emerging from the last of the COVID operating conditions, EGHS like all other health services across the state commenced the year with another deficit operating budget,” Mr Peter said.

“Increased costs due to inflation and built-up demand over the COVID years drove this deficit. The Department of Health continued their support of health services by reviewing the funding guidelines and delivering specific grants.

“This enabled EGHS to continue to rebuild and expand its capacity to deliver services for the year and maintain its workforce.”

Mr Peter said as a result of the Department of Health support and by managing expenditure, East Grampians Health Service was able to achieve its surplus result for the year.

“As all of you in the community are aware, the difficult financial times will continue in the short to medium term as costs continue to escalate,” Mr Peter said.

“The Board has sought and received the guarantee from the Department of Health that it will fund any shortfall of cash for the next 12 months.

“The Board and Executive will continue to look at revenue generation and appropriate cost saving measures into the future. We will work in partnership with the Department of Health to balance the budget through growth and versatility of program delivery.”

Mr Peter said EGHS continues to plan for the future with its ongoing capital development and investment in staff development.

He said the health service continued its program of capital replacement and renewal this year with $2.75 million of additions.

This was made up of items of plant and equipment and building re-development.

“A really positive outcome was the official opening of the expanded second theatre in October 2022. This shows our commitment to expanding, modernising and responding to local and regional demand,” he said.

“I would like to stress that any fundraising, donations or bequests received from the community are separately accounted for and do not go to fund operating deficits. They are used for capital projects and supporting staff development that have an enduring benefit for the community or in specific alignment with the wishes of the donor.

“We publicly and humbly thank all those who have donated or have been involved in fundraising efforts.”

Mr Peter highlighted the ongoing commitment the Board has to staff development at East Grampians Health Service.

“The health service sees the support of staff through training and development as crucial to ensuring the success of the service into the future,” he said.

“While this can take various forms, we would especially like to thank the generous support of Monika and the late Joe Kapp, Geoff Laidlaw and family, the East Grampians Health Service Building for the Future Foundation and the Epworth Foundation for their scholarship programs.”