Senior doctors on rise

BRIGHT FUTURE: A record number of senior doctors are now in Charleville. Pictured is Tanya Steffens in Charleville Hospital's emergency room.
BRIGHT FUTURE: A record number of senior doctors are now in Charleville. Pictured is Tanya Steffens in Charleville Hospital's emergency room. Andrew Messenger

IN A big win for the region, there is a record number of permanent senior doctors in south-west Queensland, including five in Charleville.

South West Hospital and Health Service Executive Director of Medical Services Dr Chris Buck said the region now had 18 permanent senior doctors on staff.

"These include six at Roma, five at Charleville, four at St George and one each at Cunnamulla, Mungindi and Mitchell,” Dr Buck said.

"We have seen a steady expansion in our permanent senior doctor ranks thanks to our increasingly successful recruitment programs and our region is becoming increasingly attractive for both senior and junior doctors looking for new challenges.

"This growth in the south-west's permanent medical establishment is a reflection of the health service's strategy over the past several years of reducing reliance on locums by attracting more permanent doctors, aiming specifically at young Australian graduates.

"However, for these locum positions, we have in place a regular panel of doctors who share the positions and who provide their communities with a familiar face and continuity of care.”

Dr Buck said another record broken this year was for all three major hospitals in the region - Charleville, St George and Roma - to have permanent directors of medical services in charge.

"This is the first time this has happened in 18 years,” Dr Buck said.

"In previous years, either one or two of our three major hospital directors of medical services have been locums rather than permanent staff.

"But with the permanent appointment of Dr Alan Richardson to Roma in January and Dr Philip Bailey to Charleville early last year - along with our long-time permanent Director of Medical Services at St George, all there major facilities are now headed by permanent doctors.”

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