A DATE has been set for the official opening of the Bendigo Hospital Project.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Health Minister Jill Hennessy are expected to do the honours during an event at the hospital on August 10.
“The Bendigo Hospital project was completed in two stages,” a Bendigo Health spokesperson said.
“The first delivered the hospital and the second stage saw the completion of landscaping, the multi storey car park, helipad and the air link bridge, amongst other things.
“Now that both stages are complete we are looking forward to the official opening in August.”
The first stage of the project – the hospital itself – has been open to the public for more than a year.
About 170 patients were transferred to the new hospital on January 24, 2017. The psychiatric services precinct opened on March 2, 2017.
Exemplar Health and the Bendigo Health Foundation hosted a fundraising gala dinner in the hospital atrium in December 2016.
The hospital was expected to be officially opened shortly thereafter, but then-chief executive John Mulder stood down about two weeks after the new facility welcomed its first patients.
IBAC released a report in March that year that made made a number of findings naming Mr Mulder and former construction manager Adam Hardinge.
Mr Mulder said the advice he received from board chairman Bob Cameron on news of his termination “confirmed there were no findings of either gross misconduct or criminality” during his tenure at Bendigo Health.
Hardinge was fined $15,000 in 2016 after pleading guilty to nine theft and deception charges.
The Bendigo Health spokesperson said demand for services at the health care group had increased since the new hospital opened.
“In the past 12 months alone we saw an increase of ambulance arrivals, up 3000 from the previous year and we performed an additional 1500 operations than the prior year,” they said.
“With the increase in beds, particularly in our psychiatry inpatient unit, we have recruited additional staff.
“Anecdotally, the team believe the new hospital has had a positive impact on recruitment across the board.”
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