Mildura Base Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Response to survey results

May 01, 2019

The operator of the Mildura Base Hospital says it appreciates the views of 2000 people responding to a survey on the future of Mildura Base Hospital, and community input will be a key element in the hospital’s future, regardless of who operates it.

But MBH chief executive officer Julia Morgan said the survey could not be seen as representative of wider community opinion, given the very clear and orchestrated campaign to discredit the hospital and its management.

“Returning the hospital to a publicly-run model will not deliver one additional service, one additional bed, or one additional medical specialist to the community – but it will cost a considerable amount to achieve,” Ms Morgan said.

“I think it is important to point out that Mildura is a community of at least 60,000 and our hospital services more than 22,000 admissions each year,” she said

“We provide treatment for approximately 34,000 presentations in our emergency department each year, deliver 900 babies and we conduct over 6,500 surgical procedures.

“The vast majority of those interactions lead to positive outcomes for people who are more than satisfied with the services and experience.”

Ms Morgan said there were many more elements to be considered in deciding the most appropriate future management model for MBH.

“What I would say to the community is that we have 19 years’ experience in operating this hospital, in a community that is highly complex and challenging,” Ms Morgan said.

“Mildura faces numerous complex social problems and is one of the most disadvantaged areas in Victoria,” she said.

Ms Morgan said Mildura’s remoteness presented unique challenges particularly with respect to recruiting and retaining doctors.

“The region lost nine GPs last year and three more this year, and this puts a strain on the hospital emergency department,” she said.

“Despite the enormous competition for specialists, we have managed to employ and retain senior specialists in ENT, Oncology, Geriatrics and Nephrology, areas which were previously heavily reliant on fly-in, fly-out specialists.

“In the last nine years we have expanded senior medical workforce to ensure our community has increased local access to specialist doctors. In 2010, we serviced just over 4,000 outpatient consultations over five specialties. Now, we are facilitating more than 16,000 consultations per annum over 10 speciality areas”.

Ms Morgan said Ramsay Health Care had managed the hospital well and was held to account by both the Department of Health and Ramsay Health Care’s safety and quality standards.

“We are one of the most audited hospitals in the country. Ramsay Health Care is one of the most successful hospital operators in Australia and in 50 years it’s grown from one small hospital in NSW to over 400 worldwide.

“The single most important reason for the outstanding growth is a determined and ongoing focus on quality which has resulted in increased demand for Ramsay Health Care services.”

Ms Morgan said it was unfortunate the issue had been politicised by the local member of Parliament Ali Cupper.

“Despite repeated invitations, she has not once visited our hospital, engaged with management or toured the facilities to speak to patients or staff directly,” she said.

“As a result, she has made no effort to develop a factual understanding of the hospital, our challenges or successes and she has no intention of finding out.

“Her assertion that hospital access, services and quality will improve if it is returned to public management is very misleading based purely on selected anecdotal information only.

“The negative feedback that is being peddled often dates back many years and similar case studies will be found about any hospital – public or private.”

Why Extend the Contract with RHC?

  • RHC has demonstrated it can deliver quality acute care services in a uniquely challenged environment within budget;
  • There are significant risks involved in any transition of services back to the State;
  • RHC has the financial capacity to operate through the cycles of difficult financial periods to ensure the services are sustainable over the long term;
  • RHC is an Australian company with over 50 years’ experience in delivering quality health care services in rural and regional Australia as well as highly complex public hospital services;
  • The community is guaranteed a $13 million investment in much needed infrastructure and service expansion