Six new doctors soon will be taking up their appointments within the South West Hospital and Health Service at Charleville, Roma and St George.

South West Hospital and Health Service Executive Director of Medical Services Dr Tim Smart said two senior medical officers and principal house officer would be starting at Charleville Hospital during February, with the first starting on 4 February.

“The two senior medical officers – doctors Robyn Kinsey and Margaret Robin – will join our existing three senior medical officers already at Charleville, Sonya Manwaring and Katie and Paul Chang,’’ he said.

“This will give us five permanent senior resident doctors at Charleville, where previously we had three senior doctors supported by a regular panel of locum doctors filling the other two senior medical officer positions.

“I am sure the Charleville community will join me in welcoming doctors Kinsey and Robin, as well as new principal house officer Dr Kasandra Kuhlar to the region.

“Their employment is part of our commitment to establishing a strong senior medical establishment at Charleville and working closely with our local partners to deliver sustainable health care to meet the long-term needs of the community.”

As well as the new doctors at Charleville, one new senior doctor will be starting at Roma Hospital and a husband and wife team will be job-sharing a position at St George Hospital.

Dr Smart said Dr Nicholas Lee would be starting at Roma on 18 February as a Senior Medical Officer Anaesthetist, while doctors Kate and Alex Baggot would be job-sharing a Senior Medical Officer position at St George from 4 February.

“I would also like to welcome doctors Lee and Baggot to our region,’’ he said.

The new doctors will form part of the South West HHS’s total complement of 37 resident doctors throughout the region.

Dr Alex Baggot said he and wife Kate currently were working at Mackay Base Hospital and were looking forward to moving to St George.

“We’re both keen to work in a smaller hospital where we can get to know our colleagues and patients better than in a large hospital,’’ he said.

“We are also keen to move to a smaller community in which we can get more involved.’’

Dr Smart said patient care and good outcomes was about a whole team working together, not just permanent and locum medical but also nursing, allied health, administrative and other support
staff.

“Strengthening any element of this team, such as our medical establishment, contributes positively to improved patient care,’’ he said.

“It also contributes to the South West HHS’s central vision of providing excellence in care for remote Queenslanders.

“Just as importantly, having such a pool of senior and highly skilled doctors gives us the capacity to host, teach and supervise the next generation of young doctors.

“That’s why we can host medical students, as well as junior doctors who are at most stages of career training for Rural Generalist specialty training.

“For instance, apart from our permanent doctor establishment, this year we have 12 medical student positions available at our Roma, Charleville, St George, Mitchell and Cunnamulla health facilities
through which students will be rotating every six weeks.

“We also have three medical intern positions at Roma, Charleville and St George, where we will host interns from other major hospitals for short rural and remote placements every five to six weeks.

“And finally, we have six junior doctor positions at Roma, Charleville, St George and Mitchell, where we can host 12-week rotations of young doctors at various stages of more advanced training
programs.

“This is a great way of introducing the future generation of doctors to the benefits and advantages of working in rural practice.

“Once these young medical interns and junior doctors complete their training, they may well be much more inclined to consider coming back and continuing their careers with the South West HHS in the future.’’

Dr Smart said the South West now was very much regarded as an attractive place for doctors to work, train, and get valuable experience in rural and remote medicine.

“However, locum doctors will continue to be a part of South West Health’s service delivery as they will always be needed to replace permanent doctors who are on leave or fulfilling continuing
education requirements, or to fill gaps when we recruit to vacated positions,’’ he said.

“Where possible, we ensure that the same locum doctors return on a regular basis to maintain continuity of care.’’

For further information contact:

James Guthrie

Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld Media and Communication

Department of Health (07) 3708 5379

Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au