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.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today 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, after it was privatised by Jeff Kennett and the Liberal Nationals in 1998.  The contract was later extended by the former Liberal Government.

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 and 25.

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 Andrews Labor 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 when the Liberals were last in power.

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

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“Mildura patients deserve access to the very best care, close to home, when they need it.  They also deserve to be heard on how they would like that care to be delivered.  That’s why we’ve held this consultation.”

“I thank the community for sharing their views on the future of the Mildura Base Hospital.  We are now closely considering the findings before making a decision on the hospital’s future.”

“It’s clear the people of Mildura are passionate about their local hospital and the important role it plays at the very heart of their community.”