February 23, 2023

2021-22 Northern Health Annual Meeting

This afternoon, Northern Health hosted the 2021-22 Northern Health Annual Meeting.

Held at the Northern Centre for Health Education & Research (NCHER), the Northern Health Board and Executive were virtually joined by members of the local community, consumers, primary care partners, volunteers and staff, to hear about the health service’s highlights and achievements from the 2021-22 financial year.

Jennifer Williams AM, Board Chair, opened the meeting, acknowledging yet another challenging year in healthcare due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also highlighted the many new opportunities that were presented during the year.

“With each wave of COVID-19, our workforce was challenged, and with each new challenge, they demonstrated their commitment to their patients,” Jennifer said.

“Our staff worked together to protect our patients, our community and their colleagues, and for that, I am incredibly proud.”

Siva Sivarajah, Chief Executive, reflected on the operational achievements.

“Demand for emergency care remained strong over the year, with our Northern Hospital Epping Emergency Department (ED) continuing to treat more patients than any other ED in Victoria. We received more than 110,000 emergency presentations – this makes us the busiest ED in the state, a title we have managed to hold for some years now,” he said.

“In addition, the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) saw more than 35,000 virtual emergency presentations and there were over 35,000 patient arrivals from Ambulance Victoria.”

Siva also highlighted the number of capital projects that were completed or initiated that have helped the health service to grow its facilities and services in Melbourne’s northern region – one of the fastest growing communities in Australia.

“A new Main Ward Block at Northern Hospital Epping was completed, and the multi-deck carpark opened, helping to relieve pressure for staff car parking access,” Siva said.

“Construction of a new 30-bed mental health facility commenced in 2021 and was completed late last year. This facility will enable us to meet the growing demands for mental health services in the north, and provide expert care and personalised care to patients.”

Siva also congratulated and acknowledged all staff for their amazing effort in working during the pandemic, with a nod to the return of some level of business as usual.

“I want to thank each and every one of our staff and volunteers for their enormous effort and commitment over the past three years. 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year and I am proud of what we, as an organisation, have achieved to keep our community safe and healthy.

During the meeting, we also showcased Nina Yhap’s story. Nina spent two years working and learning at Northern Health, receiving her post-fellowship training. She worked and trained closely with Northern Health’s Vascular Surgery Unit, including Iman Bayat, Head of Vascular Surgery.

Nina has since moved back to Barbados, her home country, with new knowledge and skills acquired at Northern Health. She has become Barbados’ first ever vascular and endovascular surgeon and has proceeded to set up a vascular service in Barbados. You can watch Nina’s story in the video below.

Peter McDonald, Board Director and Finance Committee Chair, presented the Financial Report, which included an operating surplus of $0.1m. He also introduced the Northern Health Annual Report for 2021-22, which can be found here.

Jennifer closed the meeting by thanking everyone for their work during the year.

“We are grateful for your ongoing dedication and contribution and we look forward to an exciting 2023 at Northern Health.”