National Rural Health Commissioner visits Goondiwindi

The first National Rural Health Commissioner, Emeritus Professor Paul Worley will tour Goondiwindi Hospital today as part of his Darling Downs Health Region tour.

Emeritus Professor Paul Worley

Emeritus Professor Paul Worley

The Goondiwindi Hospital visit will allow the Commissioner to see first-hand the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service’s Rural Generalist Program, a first-of-its-kind program that supports learning pathway for doctors who are interested in getting the skills needed for a career in rural and remote medicine.

Queensland Rural Medical Service Executive Director Dr Hwee Sin Chong says Professor Worley’s visit is a fantastic opportunity to show how the Rural Generalist Program is being successfully implemented across the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service.

“The supported program aims to recruit and train doctors to provide them the breadth of skills needed to care for a rural community. They also develop one or two advanced skills in a specialised medical field.”

“Graduates of the program are known as ‘Rural Generalists’ and are highly sought after across the state for their unique skill sets.”

“We hope this visit will inform Professor Worley, in his role as National Rural Health Commissioner, to help establish a National Rural Generalist Program.”

The Professor will spend 3- day visit touring the region, travelling from his home state of South Australia and will also take in facilities at Toowoomba, Stanthorpe and Warwick hospitals.

The Rural Generalist Program was instigated in 2005 by a group of medical officers keen to develop a supported training pathway for doctors interested in rural medicine.

The program has grown to now have almost 300 medical officers involved.

Dr Chong says Doctors choose to enter the program at various stages of their career, and can specialise in mental health, adult internal medicine, anaesthetics, obstetrics and paediatrics.

“We are proud of what we are achieving in Goondiwindi and across the Darling Downs Health Region and I look forward to highlighting these successes at a national level.”