The Bega Valley is situated on the Far South Coast of NSW, approximately half way between Melbourne and Sydney. Bordered on the east by the Sapphire Coast and to the west by the Great Dividing Range, the town of Bega is just a three hour drive from Canberra and a similar distance from the NSW snow fields.
The population of the Valley is nearly 35,000 people who live in the three towns of Bega, Merimbula and Eden or in villages and smaller rural communities. Each town or village has its own distinctive character and attractions which are often focused on regular music, arts, food and sports events and which also appeal to inter-state tourists. Visitors and residents alike are attracted by the natural beauty of the area’s coastline, national parks and verdant pastures. The appeal of the area for retirees has resulted in a higher aged population compared to other areas in NSW. There is also a comparatively high Indigenous population. Sapphire Coast Tourism has further information about the region.
Residents in the Bega Valley and surrounding areas will have access to new and enhanced medical services when the South East Regional Hospital opens in early 2016. The new facility is situated 1.5km from the Bega CBD. With 134 overnight beds the South East Regional Hospital will provide primary, chronic and acute health services in the one location. More information.
Other facilities include local GPs and specialists, visiting specialists, a private hospital, Pambula District Hospital and an Aboriginal medical service.
Medical students have the opportunity to participate in a range of activities such as working in local surgeries, attending hospital rounds, lectures and procedures. In addition, students may elect to participate in the Bega Cheese Farm Stay experience. Teaching takes place at a dedicated Clinical Education Unit located within the grounds of the current Bega District Hospital providing access to a tutorial room and library as well as to facilities and equipment for practicing clinical skills.