Warrnambool Base Hospital grows to meet demand

AN ageing population and demand from patients living further afield is fuelling Warrnambool Base Hospital’s extraordinary growth, its chief executive says.

John Krygger has managed South West Healthcare’s rapid expansion during the past decade and told The Standard yesterday he believed the base hospital had acted as a magnet for medical professionals during that period.

“The number of clinical specialists residing in Warrnambool has grown from 33 in 2003 to 55 (people) last year,” he said.

“Now, some of  that is due to geography but the hospital redevelopment has also been a contributing factor. 

“Quality of life has also played a part. People who would normally work in metropolitan hospitals see the advantages of working in Warrnambool.”

South West Healthcare has nearly doubled its gross operating revenue during the past decade, rising from $69.7 million in 2013 to $131 million last year. The equivalent full-time staff figure has also risen from 720 to 946, with more than 1100 people on the healthcare’s payroll in real terms.

Mr Krygger said funding and staffing levels have reflected demand for services, with more patients hailing from Hamilton, Portland and Mount Gambier using the hospital’s services.

“The number of acute inpatients has risen from 15,300 to 22,700 during the same period,” he said.

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