The hospital board of Western Health and hospital administrator of Djerriwarrh Health services have backed plans to merge and sent their recommendations to the Health Department secretary.

At this stage, no current services or jobs will be lost – and a final decision will be made by Health Minister Martin Foley.

“The report on the proposed voluntary amalgamation of Western Health and Djerriwarrh Health Services has been received by the Western Health Board and Djerriwarrh Health Services Administrator,” a statement released today (Thursday) said.

“Both support the report’s recommendation to proceed with a voluntary amalgamation based on clear community benefits from such a move, particularly given the State Government’s 2019 announcement that a new Melton Hospital would be operated by Western Health.

“Both health services have prepared the way for a joint transition team to be put in place to drive change in the event the Minister for Health approves the voluntary amalgamation.”

The joint statement also said:

** Bacchus Marsh and Melton Regional Hospital will continue to operate as is,

** Grant Lodge residential aged care at Bacchus Marsh will be retained,

** There will be no reductions in overall health staffing numbers, and no losses to frontline clinical staff as a consequence of amalgamation,

** Local fundraising will continue to be directed to local health and care services,

** There will be ongoing community participation and engagement with local service planning,

** Clients and patients will continue to have choice as to where they access care.

“The immediate priority is certainty and confidence for staff and communities, and – as always – ensuring high quality care,” the boards said.

“Staff and community engagement has helped to define clear commitments should a voluntary amalgamation proceed.”

** Meanwhile, Western Health has opened a COVID19 vaccination hub at Melbourne Airport. Moorabool is expected to get its first locally-administered vaccines before Easter.

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Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

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