Mildura has its say on hospital's future

Thousands of Mildura residents and health professionals have had their say on the future of the Mildura Base Hospital and the local health issues that matter to them most.

Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos released findings from a four-month community consultation that included an online survey, stakeholder sessions and drop-in community sessions at Mildura Centre Shopping Centre.

Mildura Base Hospital is the only publicly-owned, privately-operated hospital in Victoria. Ramsay Health has been running Mildura Base Hospital since 2000.

In total, 2,104 surveys were completed online and 21 submitted via hard copy. One hundred people attended nine face-to-face stakeholder sessions including health professionals, Aboriginal groups, council, community leaders and hospital staff.

And 25 people shared their views at the community drop-in sessions on October 23 2018 and 25 2018.

The review found 90 per cent of people would prefer the hospital be publicly-run.

It also found that access to emergency treatment was the most important health issue, followed by access to specialists and GPs. Quality of services provided was identified as the most important quality of a hospital.

The challenge of attracting and retaining specialist health staff to a remote community was also highlighted.

The consultations are part of a detailed review process that will help decide the management arrangements of the health service beyond the current contract. The current contract is due to expire in 2020, with an option to extend until 2022.

At Mildura Base Hospital, the Victorian Government is investing $117.35 million this financial year. That’s $11.86 million – or 11.2 per cent – more than the previous 12 months. The funding for Mildura Base has increased by $29.47 million – or 33.5 per cent since 2014-15.

The Victorian Government has also provided more than $8 million for upgrades at the Mildura Base Hospital from its flagship Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

Source: Vic Government