Australia’s largest private hospital operator, Ramsay Health Care, has released a national overview of its significant contributions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in conjunction with the public health system.
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Ramsay Health Care’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response brochure highlights the ways Ramsay assisted with the effort across every aspect of the business, its learnings from COVID-19, looking to the future, and case studies from around the country.
Ramsay stepped up when the COVID-19 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.
Through this partnership, Ramsay created the extra capacity to support the public system in the fight against COVID-19, including more than 30,000 additional staff and 9,000 hospital beds across the country. More than 28,000 procedures were performed on public patients across a range of specialities (including at the public hospitals Ramsay operates).
Ramsay’s Melbourne hospitals and clinics assisted the Victorian Government’s pandemic response by redeploying staff to work more than 1,500 shifts in 8 residential aged care homes to assist with COVID-19 outbreaks and caring for 85 vulnerable aged care residents. These facilities admitted 72 COVID-positive patients, mostly older Australians who had been evacuated from residential aged care facilities.
Ramsay’s Joondalup Health Campus treated more than 40 COVID-positive patients without any staff transmission. This included 30 COVID-19 positive patients from cruise ship, the Artania.
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.
Ramsay’s community pharmacy network supported the Federal Government’s Home Medicines Service during the pandemic by delivering medications to more than 3,800 vulnerable Australians, reducing their potential exposure to the virus by making sure they could access essential medicines without leaving home. Ramsay Pharmacy also administered almost 17,000 flu vaccinations, an increase of more than 400 percent compared to 2019.
In addition to the health response, Ramsay also contributed to addressing the devastating economic consequences of the pandemic. Despite challenging conditions, Ramsay supported hundreds of local construction jobs by continuing with 11 development projects across the country worth a total of $267 million. This included millions of dollars’ worth of investments in Brisbane, Perth and Western Sydney and millions more in regional Australia in Orange and Nowra. It also supported more than 40 struggling Australian businesses during lockdown by purchasing food from local restaurants, cafes, suppliers and bakeries to feed hard working Ramsay Health Care workers.
Ramsay Australia CEO, Carmel Monaghan, said the partnership between public and private hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the benefits of Australia’s hybrid model of care, featuring 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. It is this hybrid model which, we believe, helps to make Australia’s hospital system one of the best in the world,” Ms Monaghan said.