Community groups came together at the Tamworth Regional Gallery on Wednesday night to welcome GP registrars and other health professionals working and training in Tamworth.
Hosted by local general practice training provider, GP Synergy, more than 70 attended the event with representatives from Tamworth Regional Council, Tamworth Rural and Referral Hospital, Multicultural Tamworth Incorporation, the Rural Doctors Network, local schools and general practices.
Local member, Kevin Anderson MP was also amongst the guests, warmly welcoming the GP registrars and other health professionals to the area.
According to GP Synergy Chief Executive Officer, John Oldfield, the number of doctors being recruited to train as GPs in the region has increased rapidly in the past seven years.
“In 2009 the annual intake of registrars into the New England/Northwest region was 10. In 2015, this number more than tripled to 37 – the highest intake the region has experienced.
“GP registrars now make up nearly every two of ten GPs in the region, contributing enormously to the primary healthcare provision in local rural communities,” Mr Oldfield says.
There are currently 53 GP registrars training across the New England/Northwest with 25 GP registrars training in Tamworth.
One of these GP registrars is Dr Mark Bates. After 15 years in the IT industry, Mark found himself seeking a more challenging and rewarding career. When he became aware of the shortage of doctors in rural areas, he decided this was the career for him.
“I looked into what was involved and found that rural GP offered a great lifestyle, great opportunities for raising a family, as well as a challenging and rewarding role in contributing to healthcare.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to be involved in someone’s health, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of being involved in long term care within a community and making a difference to the lives of people I’ll be caring for,” he says.
Additional networking events will be held in Armidale, Moree and Inverell in the coming weeks.
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