Mount Alexander communities asked to have their say on unifying Castlemaine Health and Maldon Hospital

The Boards of Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health have commenced a four-week community engagement process on the proposal to unify both health services.

The community engagement includes a survey and face-to-face feedback sessions to enable community members to take part.

The amalgamation has been proposed to ensure the sustainability of health services for the communities of Mount Alexander, and motivated by demand from patients and residents, changes in the Mount Alexander demographic, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the implications of two health Royal Commissions and reassessing how the services allocate resources.

Castlemaine Health Chair Peggy Ronnau said she believed it was overdue for both health services to consider a unification, considering how many resources and staff they already share, including a CEO. The two health services also share common challenges over changing community profiles and increasing demand for health, wellbeing and aged care services.

“I encourage the Castlemaine community to find out more about this proposal by going to the Castlemaine Health website and completing a with your feedback.”

She added, “I support unification because we need to examine how a unified service could free up the compliance burden that takes up so much of our staff’s time, which can then be used for frontline services in the town,” she said.

Currently the two services have a joint CEO but separate boards, with many shared staff and services. The two health services also share common concerns over changing community profiles and increasing demand for health, wellbeing and aged care services.

CEO Sue Race said “Over the last few months, we have started making changes, big changes, to the way we deliver healthcare in this region. We recently employed an LGBTQI+ health worker in Castlemaine, we integrated with CHIRP Community Health, which both are helping us to find ways we can service our community’s needs.

Staff of both services were introduced to the project last week and will be deeply involved over the next two months,” she said

Peggy Ronnau said that this engagement with staff and community will be methodical, consultative, timely and transparent, and will ensure that the best outcome for the community.

The exploration will include the potential benefits of an amalgamation of services, which, under the Health Services Act (1988) would need to be voluntary and agreed between the boards – and benefit each community. Change will only happen if the boards are in agreement, if community benefit is assured, and if approved by the Minister for Health.

To find out more about the engagement program and fill out a survey visit our community consultation webpage. To take part in a face-to-face session or request a hard copy of the survey email or call 54752000.



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