There are few times in life when an outcome is successful and both parties and peripheral people get to benefit. This happened yesterday for the Keith Community. After the struggle (very public one) to retain its funding, and the fight to get the funding back, which it did it is now moving into a complete new phase and partnership.
This is a three-way partnership, Community / Government and now Western Hospital for the next two years. the Government funding was for three years to assist the hospital to become self-sufficient and is halfway through this agreement and the Board has been working behind the scenes to get a Management agreement with the Western Hospital for the next two years and an option for another two should it be a successful and financial partnership.
There is no downside here really, Western Hospital has experience and has walked the shoes of Keith Hospital, Keith Hospital is a bit luckier in that they did not actually get to close, Western had the doors shut and the electricity turned off before a group of Doctors, Nurses and community people re-opened it and has turned it completely around to a highly respected valuable health facility in South Australia, much like Keith Hospital is for the wider and country community.
I was invited to a morning tea yesterday at the hospital to hear the announcement and to watch the Chairs of both Boards sign the agreement. It was exciting and exhilarating all in one. I am sure I along with many other community people including old Board and new Board members have spent many a sleepless night trying to come up with ways to keep this hospital open. We have fund raised and donated to ensure our rural services remained open and accessible to the community. I am sure I wasn’t the only one that let out a huge sigh of relief, no tears but laughter.
I am lucky enough to have worked in the health care industry most of my working life and I miss it and know many people from both sides of this partnership and I can say with total honesty yesterday was the beginning of growth for the Keith Hospital and Western Hospital. Change is always frightening and challenging but I think what the staff of the Keith Hospital have lived through, worked through, donated hours of their time and had wage freezes for, I hope this for them is the opportunity they have wanted. This will be an opportunity to utilize the services of a high functioning community ‘private’ hospital with resources and private hospital wages, trust me the staff have earned it. There would be few people who would allow themselves to be underpaid to assist their place of work, many would have left and found other opportunities, this is testament to the caliber of the staff that work at the Keith & District Hospital, one which I have helped to fight for.
We have had community pledges, that overwhelmed the board, we have had Ute musters, High teas, water (still available) a Gourmand Best in the World Charity Cookbook (still available) garage sales, picture evenings just to name a few, many people wanting to assist and now we have a tangible / workable outcome.
If anyone would like to stock the water or purchase the cookbook all proceeds go direct to the hospital. please contact the hospital direct 0887551555