UPDATE 2.30pm: THE inpatient move is now complete, with about 170 Bendigo Health patients settling into their rooms at the new Bendigo Hospital.
Bendigo Health chief executive officer John Mulder said the move ran safely, smoothly and to plan.
“Patients and staff are thrilled with the new facility,” he said.
“The months of planning paid off.
“I am very grateful to everyone who played a role in the day and extend my thanks to our community, who have been such strong supporters of this project from the beginning.”
He said the transition was still in its early stages and staff were focused on ensuring everything continued to run smoothly during the coming weeks.
“Tomorrow is another big day as we welcome patients to oncology, clinics and begin elective surgery,” Mr Mulder said.
The second phase of the project will start within weeks, with old buildings to be decommissioned and the demolition of Stanistreet House and the Kurmala building.
A multi-storey car park, a helipad and a two-storey bridge over Arnold Street are included in the plans.
Retail space and a conference centre also feature.
Bendigo Health has advised that full service operations at the new hospital, at Mercy Street, start from tomorrow.
UPDATE 11am: BENDIGO Health has already moved half of its patients from its old hospital building to the new facility.
More than 3000 staff are also making the moved to the new facility.
The old hospital buildings will be decommissioned in the coming weeks.
UPDATE 9.50am: ABOUT 200 patients are expected to make the move to the new hospital from the Lucan Street and Anne Caudle sites on Tuesday.
Staff are working at both campuses and 20 ambulances are working in rotation to help transfer the patients.
Most of Bendigo Health’s services will be fully operational in the new hospital on Wednesday.
EARLIER: BENDIGO Health’s move into its new hospital got into full swing at 8am Tuesday, when it officially closed its old emergency department in Stewart Street.
Chief executive officer John Mulder was on hand to put up a sign informing members of the public of the closure and the opening of the new emergency department a block away in Drought Street.
Mr Mulder said he did not expect it to be long before the new department treated its first patient, given the hospital saw about 50,000 emergency attendances a year.
Mr Mulder said the closure came with some sadness, as it marked the end of 163 years of accepting patients at the hospital’s Lucan Street campus.
But he said this quickly dissipated and was replaced with excitement when faced with the prospect of moving into the “beautiful” new hospital.
A volunteer will remain at the entrance of the old emergency department to direct anyone in need of urgent care to the new site.
The first patient was transferred from the old hospital to the new site about 8.15am.
Mr Mulder said another exciting milestone would be the first baby to be born within the new building.
He confirmed there were some women who were in labour in the old hospital at the beginning of the move, but whether they would give birth within the walls of the new facility would depend on how far their labour had progressed.
Bendigo Health has asked the public to avoid visiting the hospital unless in need of urgent medical care.
Some road closures are also in place while the move is under way, including Arnold Street and Stewart Street.