The proposal to join Nathalia, Cobram and Numurkah health services has been unanimously supported by the three Boards following extensive community and staff consultation, due diligence assessment, and careful consideration of the benefits and issues – with focus on improving access to care for local communities.
The health services are working in close consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services and the proposal is yet to be presented to the Minister for Health for approval. No decision has been made.
The independent Due Diligence Report found no major issues of concern on the proposal to join services – this included a comprehensive assessment of clinical, financial, governance, regulatory and human resource matters.
We wish to thank members of the community and staff who provided valuable input into a range of consultation opportunities, with communications taking place over 18 months.
Overall, we heard from a variety of people in the community through 34 separate meetings; 165 attendees at staff and community engagement sessions in Nathalia, Cobram and Numurkah; over 70 people attending an additional consultation session at Numurkah; 125 attendees at community tents across the three towns; 72 survey responses; thousands reached via social media with 506 engagements; plus 20 letters/submissions received. Publications, letters, advertising and media publicity were also included to reach communities.
Community feedback is ongoing. The health services are continuing to meet with service groups and community members to hear feedback and answer questions in relation to the proposal.
The proposal will combine the management and governance of the three organisations under one entity. There will be no loss of services, staffing or funding. Existing hospitals/facilities will remain in place, in their current locations. Current services will be maintained and enhanced. The local identity and unique characteristics of each facility are valued and will be preserved.
In an amalgamated entity, the Board would have local representation from each community and three Community Advisory Groups. Local funding will remain local. Reserves at each organisation will be kept for local priorities. Donations and items will remain with each facility/location.