Health chief calls it a day

Bruce Beatson

Bruce Beatson

The long standing head of a locally-based not-for-profit health insurer is calling it a day after almost three decades in the role.

Latrobe Health Services managing director Bruce Beatson is retiring after first taking the reins 29 years ago.

Mr Beatson said he was interested in jumping on board the member-focused organisation to follow his interest in the not-for-profit sector.

"I was always interested in not-for-profit organisations. I'd been working all my life in the finance sector. The principle of member organisations attracted me to this type of work," Mr Beatson said.

"I had an interest in serving the community, but not so much from a public service point of view, but to be part of a mutual organisation."

Mr Beatson said LHS had $8.1 million in assets when he first joined in 1989. This has now grown to $228 million and now employs 80 people and a further 140 at the Maryvale Private Hospital.

He said building and running the private hospital on McDonald Street in Morwell was one of the significant achievements in his time.

"The purpose of the private hospital was to provide something missing in the local community and to retain and attract specialised medical practitioners in the local area," he said.

"This is easier to do in a private hospital as it gives doctors a chance to build a private practice and acts as a complementary service to public health. We have room to expand."

Mr Beatson originally hailed from the state's north east, but said he has no plans to leave Gippsland when he has his last day in December.

He said it was important for his replacement to understand the needs of regional Victoria.

"The challenge of the health sector is that it's always undergoing changes at a regulatory level, it doesn't get boring," he said.

"It's a continuous challenge that I've enjoyed working in the health sector for the past 30 years."

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