South West Healthcare has recorded a $3.53 million surplus despite establishing a COVID-19 vaccination hub, testing centres and employing 200 more staff members in the 2020/21 financial year.
However, the next stage of the hospital's redevelopment is expected to be completed a year later than anticipated.
"With the successful completion of the assurance review and gateway process, the redevelopment project is under way, with the final works due to be completed in 2027 - a year later than initially forecast due to COVID-19 delays," South West Healthcare's annual general report states.
Chief executive officer Craig Fraser said the financial position was a great outcome.
"It has been a remarkable year, given the backdrop of COVID," Mr Fraser said.
The surplus represents 1.6 per cent of the service's operating revenue of $227.6 million.
"The service profile continues to be impacted by the COVID pandemic and it's pleasing to report that South West Healthcare has both responded to the community needs associated with the pandemic and maintained our financial strength," the report states.
The surplus was slightly down on last year, which was just under $4 million, but was nonetheless a good result, given the challenges of responding to a worldwide pandemic, Mr Fraser said.
The service also received a further three years accreditation and secured $384.4 million state government funding for the Warrnambool Base Hospital redevelopment.
"We've been fortunate with the support we received from the government because we weren't entirely sure how the year would pan out," Mr Fraser said.
He said it had been a busy year with 200 new staff recruited and the service continuing to actively seek additional employees.
"We also met increasing demands in many of our normal services - even with the backdrop of COVID," Mr Fraser said.
The service recorded a 3.9 per cent increase in inpatients in the 2020/21 financial year, a 3.8 per cent increase in emergency/urgent care presentations and a 6.5 per cent increase in the number of births.
"We know we have an ageing community who require more services as they get older, but we also believe the south-west is a really attractive place to live," he said.
Due to the challenges of the coronavirus lockdown, South West Healthcare increased its teleheath services by 140 per cent, the report reveals.
Mr Fraser took the opportunity to thank staff for their efforts during a very challenging year.
"None of our services or successes would have been possible without our amazing teams and staff," Mr Fraser said.
"Despite huge pressures - our staff's energy, resilience and determination to deliver care to the community never wavered. I really sincerely want to thank the for all they have done."
South West Healthcare's annual general meeting will be held on Thursday.
IN OTHER NEWS:
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we aim to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.