Health Service – The Next 4 Years

The South West Hospital and Health Service has set its priorities for the next four years with the release of its 2018–2022 Strategic Plan.

South West Hospital and Health Board Chair Jim McGowan says the aim is for the service to become a national leader in the delivery of health services to rural and remote communities.

“Our ultimate purpose is to provide safe, effective and sustainable health services to our diverse communities that people trust and value. Our new strategic plan, like our previous 2014–2018 plan, is an aspirational document that sets out our organisational goals and priorities for the next four years and how we are going to achieve them.”


Mr McGowan says the plan aims to ensure all are working towards common goals with agreed outcomes and helps focus our organisational efforts and resources in the agreed directions.

“This document represents the efforts, knowledge and time of our people, our partners and our local communities; who all contributed to shape the future direction of our hospital and health service.”

Mr McGowan says the new strategic plan focuses on the four key priority areas of Our Communities, Our Teams, Our Resources and Our Services, with are measurable objectives that are transparent for each.

“We will be reporting on these objectives and staying accountable to our communities.”

“Under the Our Teams priority, one of our objectives will include building on the strong foundations we have already laid towards designing, attracting and retaining our future workforce.Last year, for instance, we succeeded in retaining 86 % of our new nursing and midwifery graduates and expect a similar retention rate from this year’s intake.”

“Under Our Resources, we will be looking at improving our health service infrastructure and investing in technology that supports innovation and more personalised care. We live in an often-unforgiving landscape with vast geographical differences and distances with a diverse population, so our strategic plan promotes innovative solutions to deliver the right service, at the right place, at the right time.”

“To achieve the objectives under the Our Services priority, we will be strengthening local collaboration partnerships – such as with the Western Queensland PHN and our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander non-government health services.”


The plan also outlines one of the key initiatives under the Our Communities priority to engage with local Indigenous communities to implement strategies to close the gap in health outcomes.

“We will measure this against national Close the Gap measures.”


Mr McGowan says that th servie is keen to keep people healthy and avoid them having to come to hospital in the first place.

“As part of our strategic plan over the next four years, we will be focussing on a range of ‘healthy communities’ initiatives designed to reduce the burden of chronic disease in our region and the rate of avoidable hospital admissions.”

“Those initiatives also will include a strong focus on child and family health to support the first 2000 days of life, so our youngest residents get off to a flying and healthy start.”

Mr McGowan says the implementation of the strategic plan would be supported by the recent updating of the health service’s organisational values.

“Our new values are: Quality, Compassion, Accountability, Engagement and Adaptability,” he said.

“These values will unite us through shared core beliefs and tap into our driving force as an organisation – our genuine and deep respect for and commitment to the bush and the locals.”

The new strategic plan is available on: