Central Gippsland Health Service is based in the diverse Gippsland region in the south east section of Victoria.
It serves most of the Wellington Shire, excluding Yarram in the south of the Shire, which has its own health service.
With services based in Sale (population approximately 14,000), Maffra (4,000) and the towns of Heyfield (1,600) and Rosedale (1,100), Central Gippsland Health Service is the major provider of health and community services in Wellington Shire. Total population of the Shire is around 42,000.
The area is characterised by its strong agricultural, timber, aviation – both private and Defence Force – and tourism sectors.
The lifestyle benefits for people living in the area are particularly strong, with the Gippsland Lakes, Australia’s largest inland waterway, and the Ninety Mile Beach in the south and east. Central Gippsland Health Service also provides services to smaller towns and districts, such as Dargo, in Victoria’s High Country to the north.
There is also a strong education sector, with a range of primary and secondary schools, including a private school based in Sale.
Statistics obtained in the 2006 census, held on 8 August 2006, provide this snapshot of Wellington Shire, where Central Gippsland Health Service is located.
Population is 40,080. Of these 50.5% are males and 49.5% females. Indigenous people comprise 1.1% of the total, compared with 2.3% in Australia.
20.0% of the population are children aged between 0-14 years, and 28.4% are aged 55 years and over. The median age in Wellington is 40 years, compared with 37 years nationally.
84.3% are born in Australia. Other common responses within are England 3.1%, New Zealand 1.0%, Netherlands 0.9%, Germany 0.6% and Scotland 0.5%.
90.2% are Australian citizens, 10.0% were born overseas and 0.3% were overseas visitors.
The most common religious affiliation are Anglican 24.4%, Catholic 22.4%, No Religion 20.8%, Uniting Church 8.4% and Presbyterian and Reformed 4.0%.
The median weekly individual income those aged 15 years and over is $385, compared with $466 in Australia. The median weekly household income is $773, compared with $1,027 in Australia. The median weekly family income is $1,021, compared with $1,171 in Australia.
The median weekly rent is $125, compared to $190 in Australia. The median monthly housing loan repayment was $867, compared to $1,300 in Australia. The average household size was 2.4 and the average number of persons per bedroom was 1.1.
There are 10,687 families in Wellington: 41.9% are couple families with children, 42.4% are couple families without children, 14.7% are one parent families and 1.0% were other families.
39.8% of occupied private dwellings were fully owned, 32.3% were being purchased and 21.4% were rented.
The forerunner of today’s Central Gippsland Health Service was the Gippsland Base Hospital, established more than 130 years ago.
In the intervening years, various other service entities were established in the surrounding districts of what is now the Wellington Shire.
These included home and community services, community health centres and maternal and child health centres established by municipalities based in and around Maffra, Sale and Rosedale in the 1970s.
Through a series of amalgamations, the Gippsland Base Hospital, Maffra and District Hospital, the JHF McDonald Nursing Home and Evelyn Wilson Nursing Home became the Central Gippsland Health Service in 1999. As well, the Heyfield Hospital, Stretton Park and Laurina Lodge Hostel have become associated by management agreement with the Central Gippsland Health Service.
That means that Central Gippsland Health Service is responsible for the majority of acute and residential aged care as well as a wide range of community services throughout Wellington Shire, excluding Yarram district.
As well as managing acute beds, labour beds and nursing home beds, the Health Service also provides management and corporate services to two not for profit private facilities, Stretton Park Hostel Inc and Heyfield Hospital Inc. These facilities have acute and aged care services as well as 15 independent living units.
Nearly 900 staff members occupying almost 600 full time equivalent positions are employed by Central Gippsland Health Service, which is also supported by some 600 volunteers and has total revenues of more than $55 million.
The organisation serves the immediate population in Central Gippsland, while acute specialist services reach a wider community in East Gippsland and parts of South Gippsland.