The Government of Victoria state in Australia has approved the voluntary merger of Western Health and Djerriwarrh Health Services.
Western Health operates acute public hospitals – Footscray Hospital at Footscray, Sunshine Hospital at St Albans and the Williamstown Hospital.
The firm also manages the Sunbury Day Hospital, along with a Transition Care Program at Hazeldean in Williamstown.
It provides acute tertiary services across emergency medicine, intensive care, medical and surgical services. Western Health employs approximately 6,500 people.
Meanwhile, Djerriwarrh Health Services has sites in Bacchus Marsh, Caroline Springs and Melton.
The company runs a 42-bed acute Bacchus Marsh and Melton Regional Hospital, ambulatory care facility Melton Health and 30-bed Grant Lodge aged care facility.
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Djerriwarrh Health’s portfolio also includes Bacchus Marsh Community Health Centre, Melton Community Health Centre and Caroline Springs Community Health Centre.
As part of the merger, Bacchus Marsh and Melton Regional Hospital, Melton Health, Grant Lodge, and Bacchus Marsh, Melton and Caroline Springs centres, as well as Djerriwarrh staff will become part of the Western Health network from 1 July this year.
The voluntary amalgamation comes after two years of talks between the two health services. Djerriwarrh said that the merger will not result in loss of frontline clinical jobs or cuts in overall health staffing levels.
Minister for Health Martin Foley said: “The decision to voluntarily amalgamate comes after a long and mutually beneficial partnership that has delivered many benefits for the community. It will deliver more services and better care for Melbourne’s growing west.”
The government committed in 2019 to build a new hospital in Melton, which will be run by Western Health.
As part of the merger, $4.1m (A$5.5m) will be provided to redevelop the Grant Lodge aged care facility in Bacchus Marsh.
Earlier, the government constructed the Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s Hospital, made a $8m (A$10.6m) upgrade to maternity services and expanded operating theatres in Bacchus March.
In addition, the $1.1bn (A$1.5bn) new Footscray Hospital is being delivered while planning for the new Melton hospital.