Emergency Information

Health service marks challenging year

4 February 2021

Benalla Health has held its first virtual Annual General Meeting today, marking a year of challenges and successes for the health service.

In speaking at the meeting, Benalla Health Board Chair Dr Dennis O’Brien said there had been many difficult situations presented by the COVID-19 pandemic during the latter half of the 2019-2020 financial year.

“Through this, we have managed to achieve a great deal, thanks in no small part to our staff, the medical workforce, our volunteers and the Board of Directors,” he said.

“We have been pleased that we have been able to complete our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, which sets the longer-term vision and direction of our health service.”

Dr O’Brien said the highlights of the 2019-2020 financial year had included the opening of the Morrie Evans Wing expansion, a significant asset for the community.

He said the challenges of the Black Summer bushfires in the North East had resulted in the health service operating under a Code Brown standby for 13 days in January 2020, a first for Benalla Health.

“This was followed shortly afterwards by the COVID-19 pandemic in which we quickly had to adapt to new situations and circumstances, including opening a Fever Clinic to provide testing services for community-members,” he said.

“We are pleased that we were able to work so closely with our town’s general practitioners and other community members in providing this service and continue that while the pandemic risk remained.”

As well, Dr O’Brien said a fire services upgrade at Benalla Health was another highlight, along with more than 400 eye surgeries which were completed at the health service, and significant security upgrades.

“We again pay tribute and give thanks to our wonderful Benalla and District Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, which was significantly impacted by the pandemic, however, has continued to provide us with financial support, which we greatly appreciate,” Dr O’Brien said.

“Our Victorian Health Care Experience Survey results have again shown that patients who attend our hospital are pleased with the care they receive, which is a credit to our skilled and dedicated staff.

The Annual Report can be viewed here

For media inquiries contact Sue Beattie on 0417 533 962.


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