About Melbourne Health
Melbourne Health is one of Australia’s leading public healthcare providers. Our mission is simple – to provide world-class healthcare for our community by embracing discovery and learning, building collaborative relationships, and engaging patients in their care.
Our services are delivered through The Royal Melbourne Hospital, one of Australia’s preeminent hospitals, NorthWestern Mental Health, the largest mental health provider in Victoria, and the internationally renowned Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL).
Melbourne Health is built on a tradition of providing the best possible care for our patients, excellent teaching and training for staff and future health professionals, and a commitment to clinical research to improve outcomes for everyone in the community.
Serving a population base of more than one million Melburnians, as well as regional and rural Victorians and interstate patients, Melbourne Health is driven by its vision, ‘Passion for Caring – Achieving the Extraordinary’ and is committed to its values, underpinning all behaviour and practice.
Melbourne Health at a glance:
- Almost 100,000 inpatient services in one year
- More than 645,000 outpatient appointments annually
- More than 57,000 emergency presentations each year
- More than 8,000 staff employed across 33 sites
- About 1,400 beds across hospital and community settings
- One of two major adult trauma services in Victoria
- More than 800 staff involved in clinical research across all disciplines
Leaders in healthcare Melbourne Health has been at the forefront of many world-renowned innovations:
Discovery of lithium helps millions world-wide
The discovery of lithium for the treatment of bipolar affective disorder and depression, is lauded by clinicians worldwide to be ‘as important as the discovery of penicillin’ and revolutionises the way the world thinks about mental illness.
In 1965, the first successful kidney transplant at The Royal Melbourne Hospital is performed. The following decade sees the hospital develop into the most successful kidney transplant unit in Australia.
Australia’s first pacemaker
Cardiology and engineering teams at The Royal Melbourne Hospital develop and implant our country’s first pacemaker.
Invention of artificial blood vessels In a world first, Royal Melbourne Hospital doctors invent ‘omniflow’ biovascular grafts made of collagen and used worldwide as substitute arteries and for dialysis treatment.
First defibrillator operation in Southern Hemisphere
Two of the hospital’s leading cardiologists perform the first Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator surgery, to prevent deaths from sudden cardiac arrest for many patients with a heart condition.
Groundwork lays foundation for bowel cancer screening
Studies conducted on bleeding patterns in colorectal cancer and benign tumours lay the pivotal groundwork for the establishment of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
Australia’s first keyhole coronary bypass operation
Keyhole coronary bypass is performed without a heart/lung machine, and the technique is proven to reduce secondary complications and the likelihood of stroke.
Mainstreaming of mental health services
Hospital psychiatrists lead Victoria’s move from an asylum-based system to a general health and hospital-based system, and the establishment of areabased mental health services.
A dedicated stroke unit
Stroke patients have greatly improved outcomes with establishment of a specialist Stroke Care Unit. This allows for the early diagnosis of the type of stroke and also, the administration of specific therapies.
Combined breast service improves care
Women with breast cancer see significant improvements in access to care and surgery with establishment of the Breast Service in collaboration with The Royal Women’s Hospital.
World’s first Coeliac Disease Vaccine
Hospital gastroenterologists are developing and testing the world’s first vaccine for coeliac disease to suppress damaging immune reactions to gluten.
First ABO blood incompatible kidney transplant
Australia’s first ABO blood incompatible kidney transplant performed at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, increasing the number of live kidney donations. The hospital develops into Australia’s busiest Live Kidney Donor Transplant Unit.
A world leader in ‘Pill Cam’ use
The Royal Melbourne Hospital is one of the world’s first hospitals to introduce wireless capsule endoscopy or ‘pill cam’ to allow exploration of the small bowel and help diagnose a range of diseases.
Leaders in Gliolan use for neurosurgery
Hospital neurosurgeons pioneer Victoria’s latest breakthrough in neurosurgery using a drug known as Gliolan, which makes cancerous brain tissue glow a fluorescent pink, giving patients access to cuttingedge technology and improving surgical outcomes.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital
The Royal Melbourne Hospital is today one of the country’s leading hospitals. It was the first hospital in Victoria - established in 1848 to answer the needs of a growing community.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital – City Campus is an acute tertiary hospital offering comprehensive general and specialist medical and surgical services including cardiac, diabetes, neuroscience and oncology as well as being one of two major trauma centres in the state and home to the Victorian Infectious Diseases Service. It is also recognised as a world-class research and teaching organisation, built on an enduring partnership with The University of Melbourne, extending for almost 150 years.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital – Royal Park Campus provides sub-acute care, including aged care, rehabilitation, ambulatory care, and residential and community services.
NorthWestern Mental Health
NorthWestern Mental Health is the mental health arm of Melbourne Health. It provides comprehensive hospital-based, community and specialist services to adults and aged people across northern and western Melbourne, plus comprehensive programs for young people with mental health problems, through Orygen Youth Health.
The team includes psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, recreation therapists, addictions counsellors and dietitians.
It operates in partnership with Northern Health (Northern Hospital, Broadmeadows Health Service, Bundoora Extended Care and Craigieburn Health Service) and Western Health (Sunshine and Western Hospitals). NorthWestern Mental Health has collaborative partnerships with The University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and Victoria University and trains hundreds of undergraduate nurses and allied health professionals each year.
Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory
The Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) is the state’s largest public health reference laboratory with core responsibilities in virology and mycobacteriology.
It provides the majority of diagnostic virology for Victoria, and undertakes specialist infectious diseases laboratory and epidemiological programs at a state, national and international level. It is Australia’s national reference laboratory for viral haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola and Lassa fever, for smallpox, measles, and poliovirus.
VIDRL has four WHO Collaborating Centres designations: for Influenza , for Virus Reference and Research, for Biosafety and for Mycobacterium ulcerans, as well as WHO Regional Reference Laboratories for poliovirus, hepatitis B virus and for measles.
Our role in the Parkville Precinct
Melbourne Health is a key partner in the internationally renowned Parkville Precinct. The Precinct is home to world-leading organisations in healthcare, research and tertiary education. It has developed enormously over the past 10 years and Melbourne Health has been at the centre of this progression.
The Parkville Precinct includes The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Women’s Hospital, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), the Melbourne Brain Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital, the soon to be completed Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
An enduring partnership of almost 150 years exists between The Royal Melbourne Hospital Clinical School and The University of Melbourne. The partnership with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences fosters a culture of excellence and innovation and helps drive improved patient outcomes.
The Precinct is famous for turning vibrant research programs into clinical improvements for patients. The rapid translation of biomedical research into clinical care will ensure all Victorians will benefit from world-class healthcare.