MAJOR PROJECT: Ramsay Health Care Executive Manager Operations for the Southern Region, Greg Hall, says he’s proud of the Hospital’s development as a “significant project for Mildura”.

The operator of Mildura Base Hospital for the past 20 years, Ramsay Health Care, says its pleased to have delivered a final demonstration of its commitment to improving patient care to the Mildura community.

Ramsay Health Care hands back the hospital’s operation on September 15, and last week completed delivery of a $4 million eight bed Paediatric Unit.

The executive manager of operations for the Southern Region Greg Hall said he was proud the final infrastructure development under Ramsay management was such a significant project for Mildura.

“These initiatives have an enormous lead time and for each of the 20 or so major projects we have delivered over our tenure, there has been untold work and effort that’s happened behind the scenes to bring them to fruition,” Mr Hall said.

“Right from our very first undertaking, which was delivery of the new Mildura Base Hospital at the commencement of our contract, Ramsay’s focus has been to provide excellent and improving health care to the community. I think we leave a very tangible legacy in that regard,” he said.

Mr Hall said in addition to the Paediatric Unit, in the past eight years alone, projects planned and delivered included:

• $4 million expansion of the Intensive Care Unit

• $2.3 million redesign of the Mental Health High Dependency Unit and inpatient ward

• Emergency Department expansion from 13 to 21 treatment spaces and expansion of the short stay unit

• Expansion of the Special Care Nursery

• An Aboriginal Healing Unit Centre to provide a safe and culturally sensitive space for Indigenous community.

• Doubling in size of hospital Chemotherapy services

• Recruitment and retention of a permanent Oncology Specialist

• Pioneering of an innovative telehealth service in partnership with Intensivist Specialists at The Alfred. The project has prevented the need to transfer some of our most sick patients to Melbourne – and the initiative has now been scaled out to other public regional health services.

• Successfully lobbied for, established and operated headspace

• Successfully lobbied for, built and established the 10-bed Prevention and Recovery Centre (PARC), a much-needed residential mental health service.

• The expansion of Ramsay Specialist Clinic, now providing more than 16,000 consultations annually over more than 10 speciality areas. Many of these speciality services were previously not available in Mildura or only available via fly-in fly-out consultants.

• Attracted and retained a strong and growing workforce of senior doctors, providing hospital services 24/7 across more than 10 speciality areas. All live and work in Mildura and are an active part of our community.

• Built a new 30+ apartment block for doctors’ accommodation to help attract new doctors.

• Increased maternity services capacity by building an extra birth suite and expanding the Special Care Nursery

Mr Hall said Ramsay was extremely proud of its involvement with the public health system, and in supporting 900 local health care jobs for the past two decades.

“There have been some enormous challenges along the journey, not the least of which has been in the past six months, with the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“The leadership during this period demonstrates very clearly the quality of the team we have here at Mildura Base Hospital, and the amazing dedication they have shown in times of uncertainty and change.

“The ‘Ramsay Way’ culture is alive and well at MBH – ‘People Caring for People’ underpins the way we have gone about every day of the past 20 years, to meet the needs of our staff, patient and community.

“I thank those who have supported us along our journey including the many dedicated Community Advisory Board members who have shared their expertise and insights so willingly in our work to provide excellent health care to our community.

“Most importantly, though, I thank all of our staff at every level – their commitment and dedication has been unquestionable during some difficult times, and I wish each of them every success for future endeavours and career aspirations in the health care sector.”

Meanwhile, Mildura Hospital staff are part of a state-wide push for an 18% per cent pay rise over the next four years by the Health Workers’ Union.