Recently received the Winter 2013 edition of Ruraldoc, News from the Rural Work Force Agency.
This government funded organisation is tasked with ensuring that those South Australians lucky enough not to be living in Adelaide can maintain still access to quality health care. I received funding when I moved to Kangaroo Island and I remain grateful for this. In addition RDWA provide funding and support for ongoing medical education which is likely to be very welcome if the current Federal Labor government gets its way and caps self education expenses.
Snuck on the back page a list of a list of new country doctors for rural South Australians. I couldn’t help observe that some of the names are very difficult to pronounce. Without wanting to incite any racial redneck ranting, I do have concerns about the use of overseas trained doctors in country areas. I recall a young doctor arrive who arrived in Nhulunbuy on the Friday afternoon flight from Darwin, jet lagged after flying in from Harare with his young family. The first thing he asked me was were he could change his Zim dollars into Australian ones. He wasn’t the only overseas doctor whose first experience of providing medical care in Australia was remote Arnhemland. Hopefully this has changed and doctors who arrive from overseas have been orientated and nurtured with local practitioners.
To these doctors I would say welcome to country South Australia. May you all find a support in your community, your work enjoyable and your patients grateful. And if any of you are Australian trained I do apologise for any perceived racial slurs.