It’s not until you experience something first-hand that you really appreciate just how well Geelong is served by our medical facilities, which form an integral part of our community and support local businesses.

I have recently undergone a surgical procedure at St John of God Hospital and have since had plenty of time to reflect on how lucky we are to have such a broad range of first class medical facilities literally on our doorstep.

From my initial consultation through to discharge and my follow up appointments, I’ve felt so appreciative to be in the hands of some of Victoria’s finest surgeons, practitioners and nursing staff, all with a 3220 postcode which alleviated the potentially stressful need for me to travel to and from Melbourne.

With more than 1000 staff and offering almost 300 beds, the not-for-profit St John of God is one of regional Australia’s leading private health care providers and continues to innovate to deliver industry leading results and patient satisfaction.

A hospital has operated on the Myers St site since 1905 and in 1974 became Geelong’s St John of God. During the past decade, over $120m has been invested in infrastructure and in 2016 the hospital completed a $21 million redevelopment, including the intensive care unit, cardiac care unit, operating theatres, cardiovascular interventional laboratory, and education and research facility.

St John of God has also achieved extraordinary patient experience results, leading national benchmarks achieving the 99th percentile in patient satisfaction across its inpatient services, emergency services and day surgery services and I can personally understand why.

The hospital has also commissioned the GMHBA members lounge, which is an innovative local service offering unlike anything else in the health industry. It is a unique space available to GMHBA members and their families/carers who at times may need respite away from the busy hospital environment with 24-hour swipe card access.

As a GMHBA member, I also have to share the accolades for how pain free the process was when it came to dealing with my health insurance claims throughout my treatment.

St John of God has also been a leading service innovator establishing the city-region’s first private emergency department and regional Victoria’s only private Cardiac Surgery service, ensuring residents of Geelong and Western Victoria receive access to potentially life changing surgery within their own community and avoiding transfers to Melbourne for treatment.

Not only do we have St John of God leading the charge in exceptional health care, but of course, we’re also fortunate to have Epworth Geelong as another outstanding private healthcare facility.

Since it opened in 2016, Epworth Geelong has grown to employ more than 950 staff and over the past 12 months has admitted 23,000 patients, undertaken 12,000 operations and treated more 9,000 patients in its Emergency Department.

While Epworth Geelong is a not-for-profit, private hospital, a significant amount of its work has been to support the provision of services to public patients through their 10-year contract with Barwon Health to assist them in the provision of chemotherapy, renal dialysis and surgical services for their patients.

And of course, we have the multi-disciplinary and broad public health focus of Barwon Health which is one of the most comprehensive service providers in Victoria with a catchment area that encompasses up to 500,000 people, potentially across to the South Australian border.

Barwon Health’s extensive remit covers everything from emergency and acute medicine to mental health, primary care, community services, aged care and rehabilitation.

So whether you are a private or public patient living here in Geelong, you can be assured that no matter what your stage of life, the very best of health and medical services can be accessed right here.

I certainly believe that’s worth celebrating and I take this opportunity to extend my personal thanks to the team at St John of God for taking such good care of me.

Published via the Geelong Advertiser , 07/11/2018
Photo credit: Geelong Advertiser