Private hospitals’ huge contribution to COVID-19 response

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Ramsay Health Care Australia has released an overview of its contribution to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting its partnership with the public hospital system.

‘Ramsay Health Care’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Australia’ brochure showcases Ramsay’s efforts, as well as what staff learned from the global health crisis, and looks to the future.

CEO Carmel Monaghan said the partnership between public and private hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the benefits of Australia’s hybrid model of care, with a strong public health system supplemented by a strong private hospital sector.

“This hybrid system offers patients more choice in ordinary times and vital extra capacity to support public patients in extraordinary times,” she said.

“It is this hybrid model which, we believe, helps to make Australia’s hospital system one of the best in the world.”

Ms Monaghan added Ramsay “stepped up” when the pandemic hit, answering the Australian Government’s call to temporarily integrate into the country’s public health care systems, making its “infrastructure, essential equipment, supplies, workforce and additional resources” available to state and territory hospital systems and the Federal Government.

During 2020, Ramsay partnered with state governments in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. The organisation had two teams – the COVID-19 response team, and the executive COVID-19 response team – which focused on personal protection equipment, organisational readiness, the workforce and resilience.

Throughout this year, Ramsay has:

  • Added 30,000 staff and 9,000 beds to the public hospital system
  • Treated 87,000 public patients from February to September
  • Performed 28,000 procedures on those public patients
  • Moved 1500 staff into eight aged care homes to help with care
  • In Western Australia, Joondalup Health Campus staff treated 40 COVID-positive patients, without a single staff transmission.

Ms Monaghan said Ramsay’s overwhelming primary focus during the pandemic was to protect the safety and wellbeing of patients, staff and doctors.

“Ramsay also offered free training and resources to more than 100 external aged care providers in Queensland and New South Wales to equip them with skills to minimise the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in their facilities,” she said.

Ramsay’s community pharmacy network supported the Federal Government’s Home Medicines Service during the pandemic by delivering medications to more than 3,800 people and Ramsay Pharmacy also administered almost 17,000 flu vaccinations.

The organisation remained committed to continuing with 11 development projects around the country worth a total of $267 million, which will help the economy. And Ramsay also supported more than 40 businesses during lockdown by buying food from local restaurants, cafes, suppliers and bakeries to feed hard working health care workers.

Ms Monaghan said the pandemic had highlighted the appetite for accessing in-home rehabilitation and hospital care services, and Ramsay would continue to focus on this integrated care delivery model.

“The impacts of COVID-19 on the mental wellbeing of Australians means mental health service delivery will play an even greater role in our society into the future,” she said.

“Excellent, accessible mental health care will be another key focus for Ramsay, which has a 56-year history of providing high-quality mental health treatments.”

Read more: Why Ramsay is giving away ECG machines

Read more: New CEO committed to 'Ramsay Way' culture

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