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Northern and Kilmore hospital merger in government hands

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

Northern Health and Kilmore District Health, KDH, boards have approved a potential merger proposal.

Following community and staff consultation, the boards endorsed a proposal to formally merge creating a new health service for the northern catchment area.

Under the proposed structure, each health service will continue caring for local communities while exploring new ways of sharing resources, increasing access to specialist services, and enhancing career opportunities for staff.

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The proposal has now been referred to the secretary of the Department of Health and the Minister for Health for consideration and approval.

If approved, KDH and Northern Health will develop an integrated strategic plan and clinical service plan with a shared vision for a sustainable model of care benefiting the northern community.

KDH board chair Gillian Leach said the integration would provide the community with greater access to clinical expertise and options for care closer to home, while helping support and grow staff career paths.

“Our proposal puts our patients, staff and community at the core. We’re building on our strong collaboration with Northern Health to bring specialised care closer to the patients’ homes, in a familiar setting with familiar faces,” she said.

“Together, we’re shaping a stronger and more accessible future for everyone.”

Areas of key importance to stakeholders include maintaining the KDH name and identity; no reduction in staff levels; staff continuing to work when and where preferred; delivering care closer to home by increase residents’ access and introducing more specialist services; introducing paediatric outpatient service at Kilmore; strengthening local maternity services to allow more births in Kilmore; and streamlining access to tertiary care through collaboration and improved communication.

Northern Health board chair Jennifer Williams said the consultation period was an opportunity to hear about what was most important to staff and the community.

“It is evident that our partnership holds immense benefits, not just for our communities but also our dedicated staff,” she said.

“Undoubtedly, joining the two health services will address the needs of the fastest-growing catchment in Victoria.”

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