A new chapter for Waranga Health
Published at: 19 Jul 2019
Investing in Rushworth’s future
A message from Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.
Country hospitals are the lifeblood of our regional communities – and everybody deserves the very best care, no matter where they live.
Rushworth can be truly proud of its dedicated doctors and nurses who have provided locals with first-class treatment and care since the doors of Waranga Memorial Hospital first opened in 1961.
And this tradition continued with the addition of the Waranga Aged Care Hostel in 1995, delivering compassionate care for the elderly.
However, the Rushworth community deserves modern health care facilities that match this first-class level of care – and we’re proud to make that happen.
We invested $10 million to revamp Goulburn Valley Health’s Waranga Campus, turning it into a revolutionary one-stop shop for all of Rushworth’s health and aged care services.
It’s all part of our $250 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund – the largest of its kind in Victoria’s history – which is helping to upgrade rural and regional hospitals across the state.
The government is giving a $100 million boost to the fund, so that more of these worthy projects can proceed.
Here in Rushworth, this flagship new home for acute, aged care, primary care and community health services will better support the needs of the community as well as enable new and improved models of care.
By moving everything under the one roof, health professionals will be able to work closer together and services will be better linked to deliver high quality, safe and tailored care.
And this will make a real difference for the quality of life and wellbeing for patients and residents, with services also more readily available than ever before, right on their doorstep in the heart of town.
Most importantly of all, this impressive redevelopment secures Rushworth’s health services for many generations to come.
One-stop health shop for Rushworth
It was late 2016 when Premier Daniel Andrews announced the news $10 million had been invested into Goulburn Valley Health’s Waranga Campus at Rushworth.
The redevelopment aimed to co-locate all of the campus’ health and aged care services under one roof, dubbed Waranga Health.
Mr Andrews was joined by then-Health Minister Jill Hennessy and State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes to announce the funding, which was taken from the first round of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.
GV Health infrastructure executive director Sandy Chamberlin said the redevelopment aimed to turn the facility into a one-stop shop for all of Rushworth’s acute, aged care, primary care and community health services – all inside a fully-integrated, state-of-the-art hospital facility.
It also included a new office, administration, reception, storage, consulting and activity areas, as well as a new kitchen, dining room and laundry facilities.
Ms Chamberlin said the redevelopment had been ongoing for some time prior to the successful funding round, having made multiple funding applications previously.
“It’s going to be a new day at Waranga Health,” Ms Chamberlin said.
The new facility will include four acute beds, six consulting suites, 36 aged care beds and an updated lounge and kitchen area.
“There will be a new multipurpose room where members of the community will be able to come in, have meetings and hold presentations,” Ms Chamberlin said.
Prior to the official opening of the site, Ms Chamberlin said it would be a real bonus for the community, staff and residents within the facility when completed.
“It’s modern, updated to all-new standards, it’s a much more inviting facility,” she said.
“The front door is on the main street (so) there should be much more interaction with the community.”
Ms Chamberlin said the new facility ensured staff would not be required to duplicate everything over two sites.
In terms of the building’s design, she said the architect had ensured the exterior fitted in with the natural environment.
“The architect has done a really good job … at integrating the new with the old and reflecting the environment so there’s lots of wood …. the landscaping is nice and it looks beautiful,” she said.
“And it’s visible – because Rushworth is only a very small place we’ve built in the main street so you can’t avoid seeing it.
“It’s literally in between the doctor’s surgery and the IGA.”
The new facility is also equipped with a drop-off zone to enable ease of patient transportation.
“Someone wanting to drop someone off can drive through, which will make a big difference for that facility,” Ms Chamberlin said.
She said the project was done with the full input of the Rushworth community.
“The community and the community reference group were involved in the design process – from concept to schematic design to detailed design.”
MORE ON WARANGA HEALTH...
Click here to read up on the hospital's history.
To read about the Waranga Memorial Hospital farewell click here.
To read resident Eileen Barlow's fundraising memories from her time on the Ladies Auxiliary click here.
To hear from Waranga Health staff on the new facilities click here.
Click here to hear from Waranga Health's Dr Suresh Jayasundera.
To hear from the Waranga Health Community Reference Group click here.