Monash Rural Health East & South Gippsland

Introducing East & South Gippsland

Situated in the southern and eastern corners of Victoria, Monash Rural Health East & South Gippsland boasts natural landscapes and unparalleled beauty.Travel either 2 hours south or 3 hours east from Melbourne and you will be met with unspoilt beaches, farm-fresh produce and picturesque lakes, rivers and mountain ranges.

Monash Rural Health East & South Gippsland has three main teaching sites located in this magnificent region at Bairnsdale (estimated population 13,240), Sale (estimated population 14,716) and Leongatha (estimated population 3,322). All three sites are within the grounds of their rural hospitals. Placement sites outside the main teaching sites such as Wonthaggi, Foster and Orbost also have direct access to the rural hospital in these towns allowing easy access to clinical placements for students. The hospitals are also training sites for interns and registrars.

The hospitals themselves provide a broad range of specialty services including but not limited to:

general medicine general surgery ENT O&G
paediatrics mental health disalysis geriatrics
radiology allied health anaesthetics cardiology
oncology ophthalmology urology orthopaedics

All these hospitals support a mix of specialist and procedural rural general practitioner services, with obstetric and anaesthetic care provided predominantly by GP obstetricians and GP anaesthetists respectively.

All three sites offer simulation suite services in addition to the Sale and Bairnsdale sites offering library services, while Leongatha offers complete student texts.

Introducing the hospitals

Central Gippsland Health Service (CGHS) in Sale is the major provider of health services and residential aged care services in the Wellington Shire, covering virtually the entire municipality. The organisation has more than 70 acute beds, close to 180 high and low care residential aged care beds, as well as 15 independent living units. Its acute services include a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Emergency Department, operating theatres, day procedure unit, oncology and dialysis services.

Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) provides healthcare services to more than 40,000 people across the East Gippsland Shire covering an area of 21,000 square kilometers. With 84 inpatient beds it provides acute (including emergency department), sub-acute and aged care services.

Orbost Regional Health (ORH) services a vast area of 1 million square hectares with many ‘outreach’ services. They have 50 beds and deliver 63 designated health programs. The acute ward contains 15 general medical/surgical beds, emergency and outpatients department, inpatient maternity services, radiology services and a three chair dialysis unit. ORH manages aged care residential facilities including a 15-bed high level nursing home that forms part of the acute complex.

The South Gippsland Hospital at Foster has 16 acute care beds, as well as an operating theatre & delivery suite. In addition it has a three-bed emergency/outpatients department & local radiographer.

Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS) is the major public healthcare provider in the South Gippsland Shire.

  • The Korumburra hospital campus of Gippsland Southern Health Services has 16 acute beds and 20 residential care beds. There is a modern well-equipped theatre and accident and emergency department.
  • The Leongatha hospital campus of Gippsland Southern Health Services has 23 acute beds, 7 obstetric beds and 36 residential care beds.

The Bass Coast Regional Health (BCH) at Wonthaggi is the major public healthcare provider within the Bass Coast Shire. BCH has between 50-99 beds and an emergency department. It is an integrated health service providing a range of acute, sub-acute, ancillary medical, aged and ambulatory care services.


Our programs

Year 2

The two-week placements at Bairnsdale, Leongatha and Sale sites are designed to introduce students to rural communities and rural health practice. Along with clinical skills sessions and visits to rural general practices and hospitals, activities include a farm visit, tutorials from Ambulance Victoria, police and emergency services and a local veterinarian. Year 2 students socialise with Year 3B, 4C and 5D students on rural placements.

Year 3B

Year 3B is a small cohort of 10 students based at the Central Gippsland Health Service in Sale. Students participate in group learning activities at Central Gippsland Health Service that include clinical bedside teaching, ward and operating theatre experience, anaesthetic rotations, PBL tutorials and theme-based teaching. Students additionally rotate through Bairnsdale Regional Health Service under direct clinical supervision of the surgeons and general physicians in that hospital.

Students spend nine weeks in each discipline rotating over the two semesters, and attend ward rounds and clinical teaching within the hospital on a daily basis. This provides students with lots of hands on clinical exposure that allows development of their clinical and decision-making skills whilst under direct supervision of interns, registrars and consultants.

The students’ clinical experience is complemented by skills-based training in the simulation laboratory’s at the school’s sites.

The opportunity to undertake research projects is available for interested students and will be supported by local research staff.

Year 4C

The Year 4C program is delivered at the Bairnsdale, Leongatha and Sale sites with 10 student places at each. The curriculum is identical for students from the Year 4 Central stream and Year C stream. Students are based at local community practices for the academic year. Students are usually placed in general practices in pairs, with the opportunity to rotate into other practices where necessary, to meet the curriculum requirements. This could include sessions in antenatal care in practices offering obstetric services, or rotations to other primary care environments such as Aboriginal Medical Services to complement their learning experience. Students spend up to four days per week rotating through clinical placements (including their supervising practice), with one or two days per week involved in peer learning tutorials, skills sessions and case discussions at their campus.

Year 5D/final

Final year students complete seven six-week rotations which consist of five core rotations (aged care, emergency medicine, medicine, surgery and speciality), a student elective and a vacation.

Rotations at the Bairnsdale site are based at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service and available in the core subjects of aged care, surgery and emergency medicine. Aged care is also available at Lakes Entrance. Speciality general practice is available at Omeo, Paynesville, Orbost and Lakes Entrance.

Rotations at the Sale site are based at the Central Gippsland Health Service and available in the core subjects of medicine, surgery and emergency medicine, and one elective in radiology. Aged care rotations are also available located at the Heyfield Hospital . Speciality general practice is available at Sale.

Rotations at Bass Coast Regional Health include two core subjects: surgery and emergency. General surgery/sub-speciality surgery (Opthalmology) is also offered at Bass Coast Regional Health.