An 80-per-cent increase to electricity costs could be just the first of major bill increases for Colac’s top health provider.
Colac Area Health is facing a 78 to 80-per-cent increase in the cost of electricity to power its health services, which could equate to an additional $420,000 to $430,000 annually.
The cost of electricity has significantly increased for health services across Victoria after the introduction of a new 24-month contract through Health Purchasing Victoria last month.
Health Purchasing Victoria is responsible for securing bulk power deals for the state’s health services.
Colac Area Health chief executive officer Geoff Iles said the increase in power costs was a significant challenge for the health service and he believed gas prices could also increase in January.
Mr Iles said the health service was already conservative in its electricity use and the board had a key strategy to be a “green organisation” and would embrace other power-production methods.
He said Victoria’s health services were expecting an increase in energy costs but “I don’t think anyone had really understood the significance of the increase”.
He said that the increase added pressure to the health service’s already tight budget, but he was confident Colac Area Health could continue to offer quality care.
“We are having to put our minds to that right at the moment; the government, I don’t think, would be supporting any change in service structure, I don’t think any of our direct service delivery would be curtailed,” Mr Iles said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.