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ORH Lays Out “Our Shared Vision for the Future”

Orbost Regional Health Board Chair Peter Van den Oever with Corporate Projects Manager Johanne Toohey, Acting CEO Mark Johnson and Board Vice Chair Narelle Macalister at the launch of the health service’s strategic plan in May. Photo: Jake Lynch/ORH

Recruitment and training of health care workers, further developing the working relationship with other hospitals in the region, and continuing to pursue digital healthcare innovations were three of the focal points of Orbost Regional Health’s 2022 - 2027 Strategic Plan which it released to the community last month.

At a public gathering at the health service on May 9, ORH Board Chair Peter Van den Oever said the strategic plan, which will guide the delivery of services to the community over the next 4 years, was developed after a lengthy process of consultation with staff, the board and the community.

“It is our shared vision for the future,” Van den Oever said.

That vision includes continuing to grow strong partnerships with surrounding hospitals and health services, such as Bairnsdale Regional Health Service and Latrobe Regional Hospital, but also the bush nursing centres serving smaller communities in East Gippsland and Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations such as the Moogji Aboriginal Council.

“High quality staff, both local people and those we can bring in from outside the region, will continue to be central to the success of the health service."

The strategic plan also calls out the need to continue to pursue innovative digital solutions, by increasing the technological capabilities of ORH and encouraging the community to utilise online and tech-based services such as telehealth and the My Emergency Doctor system, which beams senior emergency specialist doctors into the ORH emergency department 24/7 via teleconferencing.

In his remarks to staff and community, Van den Oever recognised the tumultuous period that ORH, and health services across the world, are now slowly emerging from.

“The plan was developed during a difficult time for both the health service and the community,” he said. “Despite the impact of COVID-19 and the social restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we have been able to adapt to, and meet, the on-going health needs of the community, providing a high level of quality care whilst developing a plan for the future that the board is proud to endorse.”

With staffing a major concern for health services in regional communities all over Australia, ORH will focus in the years ahead on making the health service an attractive and supportive place for employees to work.

To achieve this, ORH will focus on promoting the lifestyle benefits of living in a rural community close to the coast, wilderness areas and the snow, but will also tackle often intractable issues, such as housing, and social and professional networking opportunities.

“High quality staff, both local people and those we can bring in from outside the region, will continue to be central to the success of the health service,” Van den Oever said.

The 2022 - 2027 Strategic Plan is available to read or download at

You can also request a copy of the plan to be mailed to you by calling 5154 6799 and providing your mailing address.