The countdown is on until the new Bendigo hospital opens its doors, with Bendigo East MP, the Honourable Jacinta Allan announcing that by early next year Bendigo Health will be operating in the new hospital.
“Planning is underway for the commencement of services, which will happen across two days, in the last week of January 2017,” Ms Allan said.
Ms Allan made the announcement in front of what will be the future main entrance into the new hospital, adjacent to Mercy Street. She was joined by Bendigo Health Board Chair, Bob Cameron and CEO, John Mulder to announce the timing.
“The outside of the building is now sealed up and work continues inside with the fit out,” Ms Allan said.
“Across two days, services in the old hospital will move into the new facility, so massive preparations are occurring at Bendigo Health.
“These include 16 Completion and Transition Groups, which are made up of representatives from Bendigo Health, Exemplar Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, to ensure a smooth and effective transition.”
The new facility includes 372 inpatient beds, 72 same day beds, 10 new operating theatres, cardiac diagnostic and intervention rooms, a regional cancer centre, an 80 bed integrated mental health facility and a parent and baby unit. Stage two, due for completion in 2018, will include a helipad and parking for 1,350 vehicles.
“This purpose built facility has been designed to provide a tranquil healing environment in line with current international best practice,” Mr Cameron said.
“It will be flooded with natural light, surrounded by accessible landscaped gardens and includes a number of landscaped internal courtyards for staff, patients and visitors to enjoy. The building also has the capacity for services to expand as required to meet the changing health needs of the Loddon Mallee region for decades to come.”
“The new hospital is a far cry from the white hospitals of old and when people walk through the doors in 12 months’ time they will see a vibrant and modern facility combined with intuitive way-finding for patients, visitors and staff.
“The main atrium will be home to a number of retail outlets providing staff, patients and visitors with access to cafes and shops.”
Bendigo Health CEO John Mulder said the year ahead will be an exciting one, as the transition process unfolds over the coming months.
“A lot of work is already being done behind the scenes to ensure our staff are prepared to move into this new world class facility,” he said.
“Models of Care, way-finding, Digital Medical Records and change management are among the key focusses for us this year and as we move closer to the move date, there will be additional training and education for all transitioning staff on the new systems within the new hospital.
“Then of course is the physical move, which is a huge logistical process, but a very exciting one.
“I want to thank our staffing group for the work they have put into the project so far and I look forward to seeing their reaction and excitement when they walk through the doors into the new hospital.”
With less than a year to go, the clock is ticking. Check out the countdown timer on the Bendigo Hospital Project website homepage. The countdown clock is counting the months, days, minutes and seconds until the hospital is operational.