Mildura Base Public Hospital is up and running as of midnight last night, with a massive IT switchover likely to continue for a few days to come.
New hospital chief executive, Terry Welch, said the smooth transition from management by Ramsay Health Care under a public-private partnership was a credit to all concerned.
But he reserved special recognition for the hospital staff of more than 900 who continued to provide excellent care and service while also managing the double distractions of the six-month transition program and COVID-19.
“If I thought I could give everybody a day off in recognition of the amazing work they’ve done, I wouldn’t hesitate,” Mr Welch said.
“However, our hospital serves its community and our community needs us to keep doing what we do.”
With the Transition line crossed, the hospital also has a new board, chaired by Mary Rydberg, who said returning the hospital to public management would help connect the hospital with local communities, service development and regional health planning.
“One of the benefits of being a public hospital is having a local board and executive team. Being close to community is important, and creating close relationships in Mildura and the wider region is an important priority right now,” Ms Rydberg said.
Bob Cameron has been interim chair of Mildura Base Public Hospital, and also gave credit to the extended team that helped deliver the transition.
“Mildura Base Public Hospital is in very good hands,” Mr Cameron said.
“But it’s also important to recognise and thank Ramsay Health Care for its commitment over the last 20 years as the hospital manager. Yesterday, our staff were Ramsay people. Today they’re Mildura Base Public Hospital people, and there is no doubt they will keep doing what they’ve been doing.”