Maternity and intensive care services at St John of God Bendigo Hospital have been granted a 12-month reprieve from closure. Source: ABC News.
But the hospital says more staff and “significantly increased levels of patient activity” are needed to secure the future of its two services.
The hospital last month launched a review after raising concerns about the viability of its maternity and intensive care units.
Chief executive Michael Hogan said the challenges faced by the two units included declining local demand and the ongoing global challenge of securing specialist doctors and nurses.
“We have received positive feedback, strong public support and enthusiasm from both the medical community and the general public in relation to our desire to retain these services,” he said.
“We are committing to maintaining these services for the community in the short-term.
“However, we will need to secure significantly increased levels of patient activity and improvements to both services to secure a long-term sustainable position.”
He said changes would be implemented over the next 12 months, but could not rule out the closure of the services if they could not overcome the “fundamental challenges” they faced.
He said the hospital would continue to work with its stakeholders, including Bendigo Health, to implement the planned changes over the coming months.
Catholic Health Australia told the ABC when the review was announced that many maternity services were under “severe financial pressure”.
St John of God Bendigo Hospital says more patients needed to secure private maternity, ICU services (By Emma D’Agostino, ABC News)