Prime Minister formally opens Epworth Geelong

Offical opening Geelong by PM

One of the largest ever private hospital Greenfield infrastructure investments, delivering new health services and employment for greater Geelong.

The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, formally opened the $277m Epworth Geelong private teaching hospital at a ceremonial event in Waurn Ponds on Wednesday 16 November.

The first stage of Epworth Geelong is a 262 bed facility with 172-beds being fully developed and 90 beds in shell to be commissioned as demand for services grow. The hospital includes a complex care facility for stroke, neurosurgical and cardiac patients; the first hybrid theatre for the region, a new private Emergency Department and a $12m clinical education and simulation centre.

Group CEO Epworth HealthCare Alan Kinkade said that design team headed by Silver Thomas Hanley has created a world-class facility that will set a benchmark for design in Australian hospitals.

The design features include:

  • optimal layout of operating theatres with close access to recovery, ICU and CSSD
  • all theatres face south to enable natural light in without compromising functionality, improving the effectiveness and wellbeing of doctors and nurses
  • efficiently-designed wards enabling increased face to face time with patients
  • single patient rooms throughout meeting patient expectations and improving infection control
  • simulation centre, lecture rooms, library and education facilities
  • north-facing staff rooms with balcony access to fresh air.

“Builders Brookfield Multiplex have done a fantastic job in delivering a high quality product ahead of time and under budget. They have also worked with Epworth to engage local contractors in the developments with more than $21m worth of contracts awarded to local manufacturing and construction trades and suppliers. These have included Norris Plant Hire, Geelong Fire services, Godfrey Hirst and many others,” Mr Kinkade said.

“The Project began in 2009 as part of Epworth’s vision to develop the best private academic teaching hospitals in Australia and to extend our excellent clinical services to regional Victoria.

Historically, many people from greater Geelong and western Victoria have travelled to Melbourne for their health services. Epworth Geelong will, for the first time, enable services such as neurosurgery and complex cardiac services to be delivered at excellent standards in the Geelong community.

“I am very proud that we have been able to attract a very dedicated and compassionate team of doctors and staff to operate Epworth Geelong, our state of the art hospital. Epworth enjoys a reputation second to none in delivering exceptional quality in patient care and we are committed to extending this same excellence in care to Epworth Geelong. In conjunction with Deakin University, this hospital will provide wonderful educational opportunities for the youth of Geelong and Victoria in fields such as medicine, nursing, allied health and imaging. It has already provided significant employment opportunities employing 550 people during construction and 450 people in our first stage of operation with many more opportunities to come as we expand in the future.

“Our research endeavours with Deakin University will provide for our patients access to novel drugs and therapies that may otherwise not have been available, also providing opportunities for Epworth and Deakin to develop and commercialise our findings.

“We are grateful for the tremendous support we have received for this project from the Federal and Victorian Governments, Barwon Health and from Deakin University,” Mr Kinkade said.

The Australian Government Department of Health contributed $12m through the Health and Hospitals Fund towards building a specialised Complex Care Unit and another $5.5m through its Innovative Clinical Teaching and Training Grants Program towards the building of the $12m education precinct, which includes a simulation centre and lecture rooms to support clinical training and placements at the new hospital. The Victorian Government contributed $2.85m through Regional Development Victoria’s Regional Growth Fund towards establishing necessary infrastructure.

“We are also very appreciative of the ten-year contract with Barwon Health, supported by the Victorian Government to provide the public services for the community and grateful for the many other collaborations that have been forged with Marcus Oldham Agricultural College, the City of Geelong and with the local Geelong community.” Mr Kinkade added.

Visit the Epworth Geelong website.