Sunraysia wakes up this morning with its own public hospital overseen by a local board of directors. Photo: Mildura Base Public Hospital
Mildura Base Hospital is back in public hands, as of this morning. [/caption]Sunraysia wakes up this morning with its own public hospital overseen by a local board of directors.

It’s the final step by the Andrews Labor Government to return Mildura Base Hospital to public hands.
The transition to Mildura Base Public Hospital took effect just after midnight last night.

For more than two decades the hospital was run by Ramsay Health Care under a 1998 privatisation deal by the former Kennett Liberal National Government.

More than 900 existing staff from Mildura’s biggest employer have transitioned across to jobs with what is now Mildura Base Public Hospital, wearing new uniforms and having access to salary packaging and other public entity benefits.

The $1 million Mildura and Northern Mallee regional service plan is due for release before the end of the year and will provide a blueprint for service delivery that best meets the unique needs of the Mildura and Northern Mallee communities.

This comes on top of $8.86 million from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund for an eight-bed intensive care unit, an eight-bed paediatric ward, and replacement of operating theatre equipment.

Mildura Base Public Hospital will be better integrated with other health services across the region as the major hospital in the Northern Mallee and an important partner for Robinvale and Mallee Track Health Services.

A new board chaired by Mary Rydberg has been appointed to Mildura Base Public Hospital, with new chief executive, Terry Welch, also starting his role today.

The Department of Health and Human Services has worked closely with Ramsay Health Care, hospital staff, regional public health services leaders and the incoming board to manage the transition.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos says the move was long overdue.

“The community spoke and we listened, returning the Mildura Base Hospital back to public hands – where it should always have been,” Minister Mikakos said.