On 7th August local general practice education and training provider, GP Synergy, together with the New England Medicare Local and Armidale Dumaresq Council, held a community networking event to welcome doctors training to become GPs and other health professionals into the area.
Attendees at the event included GP registrars and other health professionals, as well as representatives from GP Synergy, the New England Medicare Local, Armidale Dumaresq Council, Uralla Council, Armidale Hospital, local schools, Police Liaison and local general practices amongst others.
“GP registrars contribute significantly to the provision of primary care within the New England/Northwest region and data collected over the last seven years shows that 41% of these GP registrars remain working in the region after their training,” said GP Synergy Regional Business Manager, Mr Pat Worthing.
“The aim of the event,” said Mr Worthing, “was to create a platform where GP registrars could build important social and support networks with other health professionals and community groups to enhance their training experience, and hopefully retention in the area.”
One of these doctors is GP registrar, Dr Callum Fealy.
Dr Fealy has recently relocated from Perth to start his GP training with GP Synergy in an Advanced Rural Skills Placement in anaesthesia, at Armidale Hospital.
Dr Fealy grew up in a small rural community in southern NSW and says his passion for rural general practice, in particular the ability to develop procedural skills in anaesthesia, stems from there.
“It angers me to see our rural population who feeds this country, missing out on adequate health care because of inadequate health staffing,” he said.
“It’s terrible to think that a woman has to leave her family and travel hundreds of kilometers to give birth because there is no anaesthetics service in the patient’s local area. The same goes for vital basic emergency surgery like appendectomies, hernia repairs or severe fractures,” he added.
Dr Fealy says Armidale Hospital’s excellent reputation in anaesthetics training played a role in his decision to train in the area and the local community has been most welcoming.
“The town itself is great, it is picturesque, and has a good feel to it. The people here have just been so friendly and welcoming so far. I’m looking forward to just immersing myself in this new phase of training, exploring the surrounding area with my family and just being back in a smaller town again,” he said.
*High resolution versions available on request