Merger talks positive

February 28, 2018

Ticking along nicely: Numurkah District Health CEO and Cobram District Health interim CEO Jacque Phillips says talks to join Cobram, Numurkah and Nathalia District Health Services have been overwhelmingly positive so far.

Numurkah District Health chief executive officer Jacque Phillips believes the proposal to voluntarily amalgamate three district hospitals is heading in a positive direction, with a series of community tent and consultation sessions so far yielding positive feedback.

According to Mrs Phillips, one of the major benefits of a merger between Cobram District Health, Nathalia District Health and Numurkah District Health is the potential to build on the existing work that has already taken place between the three parties.

‘‘Joining up would allow us to look at better ways to recruit our staff and that’s a really important thing for us, that we are able to recruit and retain staff. We could also potentially offer more hours to staff,’’ said Mrs Phillips, who is also the interim Cobram District Health chief executive officer.

‘‘We would also have further funding opportunities by joining up together which we could apply for, which would potentially bring new services into the area.’’

Mrs Phillips said the most probing questions had come from current staff members about their positions if the organisations were to join forces, but she said they had been assured their roles would remain the same.

‘‘The staff have been reassured around positions and have been invited to be involved in community discussions in what a voluntary amalgamation would look like,’’ Mrs Phillips said.

Consultations have been held this month and will continue next month.

Mrs Phillips did not provide a date for when a final decision will be made.

‘‘We are in the process of a further consultation now, which is looking at an analysis of the critical, financial and governance considerations, which is happening at the same time as the consultation process,’’ she said.

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