The $277 million, 172-bed facility includes a 20 space private emergency department, patient bedside terminals; a complex care facility for patients with complex neurological and cardiac conditions; a clinical education and simulation centre; a rehabilitation centre; and maternity service due to commence mid-2017.
The hospital opened for business on 4 July with 350 staff on hand to welcome its first patients who also have access to Pathology and Medical Imaging, Cardiac Diagnostic Services, and private day oncology and renal dialysis units. A further 100 staff have subsequently been appointed since opening.
Epworth Geelong CEO Damian Armour said today was a significant occasion that celebrated the proposal, first contemplated by Epworth in 2009, to deliver additional healthcare services to the growing region of Greater Geelong and South West Victoria.
"I am extremely proud of the strong partnership between Deakin University and Epworth. Together we have a created a centre of excellence that will integrate patient care, research and clinically-based teaching for medical, nursing and allied health students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
"Many collaborations have also been forged within the health community of Geelong, who have also contributed to the plan and build of this world-class facility from the ground up.
"We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support provided by government towards this exciting project. The Australian Government Department of Health contributed $12m through the health and hospitals fund to build a specialised Complex Care Unit and another $5.5m through its Innovative Clinical Teaching and Training Grants Program to build an educationprecinct, including a simulation centre and lecture rooms to support clinical training and placements at the new hospital. The Victorian Government contributed $2.85m through Regional Development Victoria's Regional Growth Fund towards establishing necessary infrastructure," Mr Armour said.
"Epworth has invested significantly in the Geelong community and its future. As we develop and expand our services, our goal is to become a thriving centre of healing and learning," Mr Armour added.