Illawarra Business Stories: Ramsay Health Care continues to invest in and support the Illawarra region01 May 2023
Ramsay Health Care has recognised the increasing health care needs of the growing Illawarra region and is committed to meeting these needs through sustainable, innovative and integrated health care services.
Ramsay’s contribution to the Illawarra region’s health care sector is impressive, with more than 1,000 employees across three private hospitals, two pharmacies, a psychology clinic and an Australian-first mental health facility for women.
Ramsay admits more than 40,000 patients including 5,000 from the public sector each year in the Illawarra.
The services provided by Ramsay in the Illawarra region contribute significantly to the local economy, with nearly $67 million spent on wages, superannuation, payroll tax and supplies each year.
Ramsay Health Care is committed to a long-term future in the Illawarra Region, recently announcing a $200 million redevelopment of Wollongong Private Hospital.
“When the development is complete we’ll be able to offer local residents a 24 hour emergency department, more than 100 new private inpatient beds, on top of our existing 171 beds, four new state-of-the-art operating theatres and a second cardiac catheterisation labs,” Steven Rajcany, Wollongong Private Hospital CEO said.
The expanded hospital will allow Ramsay Health Care to support the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 and forecast growth in the Illawarra Region.
This plan outlines the opportunity for 15 regionally significant precincts containing more than 2,300 hectares for employment, hubs for recreation, culture, housing and innovation, as well as almost 45,000 jobs, and growth areas that provide land for almost 38,000 new homes.
As well as providing leading private health care for the growing local community, the expanded Wollongong Private Hospital is helping diversify the region’s economy. Along with nearby Nowra and Figtree Private Hospitals, Ramsay Psychology Wollongong and Ramsay Clinic Thirroul, the hospital will provide employment and training opportunities and support the plan’s proposed health precinct.
With 17 per cent of employment in the Illawarra region in health and medical services, the expanded Wollongong Private Hospital will draw leading specialists to the region and encourage student doctors to remain close to home.
“Ramsay Health Care is committed to investing in the facilities, technology and people needed to enhance patient experience and outcomes for the local community,” Mr Rajcany said.
In late 2022, Ramsay opened Australia’s first dedicated mental health facility for women impacted by trauma, with the opening of Ramsay Clinic Thirroul in Wollongong. The facility offers a new alternative for women suffering from complex mental health relating to past trauma. The clinic was inspired by, and is now home to, a team of mental health clinicians experienced in the treatment of trauma disorders using a range of evidence-based programs.
Crucially for the Illawarra region, Ramsay Clinic Thirroul will help create the next generation of trauma informed mental health specialists. It will become a training centre for psychiatric, medical, psychological, allied health and nursing students to help build a skilled workforce for the future.
“To date, there is a real shortage of women’s only mental health facilities in Australia. Ramsay Mental Health has been providing care for people affected by mental illness since 1964 and we understand that mental health challenges look different for everyone, especially trauma related mental health. We also understand that some women will heal best in a female-only environment,” Anne Mortimer, Ramsay Mental Health Director said.
Mr Rajcany will join Business Council of Australia’s Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott on Thursday 4 May alongside BlueScope CEO, Mark Vassella, Business Illawarra Executive Director, Adam Zarth and South32 Chief Operating Officer, Jason Economidis to explore the big opportunities for the Illawarra in Australia’s changing economy.
“Illawarra has been a top priority for our Strong Australia program, and we are looking forward to continuing the conversation with the local community,’’ Ms Westacott said.
“Particularly ahead of the upcoming federal budget, this forum will be an opportunity for us to sit down with industry and business leaders to look at the ways we can seize these big opportunities and advocate for the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region to unleash its full potential.”