Minister reappoints hospital administrator

First appeared in The Moorabool News, November 28 2017

The administrator of Djerriwarrh Health Services has been reappointed until 2020.

Doctor John Ballard was initially appointed to oversee the Bacchus Marsh Hospital in 2015, after Victoria’s Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy sacked the Board amid controversy over baby deaths.

Subsequent reviews of the hospital revealed there were 11 cases of “potentially avoidable” newborn and stillborn deaths between a 13-year period.

Dr Ballard’s contract was renewed at the 2017 Annual General Meeting on Monday October 30.

“Djerriwarrh Health Service will continue to improve both services and the settings for care over the next three years,” he said.

“The Victorian government has emphasised its commitment to the long-term future of Djerriwarrh Health Services by providing more than $10 million in capital investment to Bacchus Marsh and Melton regional hospital for the provision of a $9 million theatre redevelopment and the $1.6 million completion of stage two of the Maternity Department refurbishment”.

Dr Ballard said the current maternity redevelopment project was well on its way to completion in early 2018.
“These infrastructure projects are a firm vote of confidence in Djerriwarrh Health Services and its future,” he said.

“We will continue to embed the revised clinical governance structures and work with the Department of Health and Human Services to continuously upgrade our systems and services to equip the hospital to meet the immediate and medium-term care needs of the diverse and growing population it serves”.

The Moorabool News believes that Dr Ballard’s three-year appointment indicates that a new Hospital Board will not be re-elected during that time.

“Under the terms of the Health Services Act 1998, an administrator is taken to constitute a board,” he said.

“The Minister for Health, the Hon. Jill Hennessy reappointed me as Administrator of Djerriwarrh Health Services until 30 June 2020.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with the communities we serve through our Diversity and Community Advisory Committee and other means to promote the services we offer and continue on the path of rebuilding community confidence in the Health Service”.

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