Extra Mildura hospital beds in coronavirus pandemic plan

MILDURA Base Hospital says Sunraysia is better protected against a potential outbreak of COVID-19 thanks to a new regional pandemic plan including extra beds to deal with any outbreaks.

The expanded capacity includes a quadrupling of ventilated bed capacity at the hospital, from four to 16 beds.

The plan will ensure eight additional beds will be available at Mildura Health Private Hospital.

The Loddon Mallee Cluster Plan combines the resources of 18 public health services, two private hospitals, five community health services, two bush nursing centres, Ambulance Victoria and the Primary Health Network.

The plan outlines the effective treatment and movement of patients if localised outbreaks of the virus occur.

In a worst-case outbreak, the resources of the Loddon-Mallee region include a daily capacity for more than 80 intensive care ventilated beds, about 900 general ward beds and close to 400 emergency department presentations.

As part of the plan, health services are classified on their capacity to care for COVID-19 patients at different stages of an outbreak.

Bendigo Health, Mildura Base Hospital and St John of God Hospital Bendigo are the intensive care hubs for the region.

Echuca and Swan Hill hospitals have higher-level acute medical care while the remaining 14 rural health services provide acute and community-based care for COVID-19 patients.

The Loddon Mallee Cluster Plan also provides information on COVID-19 screening and testing clinics and best-practice approaches to outbreaks in residential care facilities.

See Saturday's Sunraysia Daily for more details.