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Medical rush

SOUTH Gippsland’s health services are thriving with an influx of staff joining the ranks at hospitals and clinics across the region.

Rising population and subsequent demand for healthcare has seen the employment of new doctors, registrars and specialists across healthcare providers in Leongatha and Wonthaggi.

South Gippsland’s lifestyle opportunities and proximity to Melbourne has resulted in the region bucking the trend of a shortage of doctors in other parts of country Victoria.

Leongatha Healthcare practice manager Judy Robb said, “There is such a growth happening in the area with plenty of people buying houses, so we are doing all we can so that our services are keeping up with demands for healthcare in the region.”

Leongatha Healthcare has four additional staff at the practice with two registrars and two general practitioners on hand.

Working on call at Leongatha Hospital, the general practitioners will service patients across the region.

Gippsland Southern Health Service’s acting chief executive officer Vicki Farthing said the influx of medical staff would contribute to the region’s strong healthcare system.

“We are fairly lucky in the breadth of specialists we have who are very skilled, and complement the GPs and doctors we already have,” she said.

“I think we are doing very well in terms of the number of GPs we have in this region, especially in comparison to areas like Yarram where they only have one general practitioner.”

Ms Farthing said while the influx of registrars and clinical doctors would serve the population well, more medical physicians were still needed in the region.

“We do not currently have anywhere in our subregion where a physician would work in intensive care,” she said.

“They are mainly in hospitals like Latrobe Regional Hospital and Warragul. But Bass Coast Health is working to open up that level of specialisation to the region.”

General practitioners Sarah Beck and Ben O’Leary have moved to the area and are working at Leongatha Healthcare. Ms Beck is an obstetrician and general practitioner, and Mr O’Leary is an anaesthetist and general practitioner.

Dr Tim Mulherin will be joining the team as a general practitioner, obstetrician and anaesthetist, while Dr Neetu Grover will also be in the clinic as a general practitioner and obstetrician.

Dr Fatima Momtaz will also be commuting from Warragul after she moved from West Gippsland Healthcare to join the Leongatha clinic.

“It is a very fascinating clinic to work at as it is quite procedural here. It is a good place to be on rotation at,” she said.

Leongatha’s Long Street Family Medical has also received new staff, with Dr Arezou Shojaei joining the team.

“Dr Shojaei is in three days a week and she is a very good addition to our staff. She is a general practitioner and has been with us for one month now. So far everything has been positive,” the clinic’s Dr Fred Edwards said.

Bass Coast Health’s Wonthaggi Hospital has also seen a recent influx of medical staff, with Gary Wilks taking on the role as director of the emergency department.

Chief executive officer Jan Child said Mr Wilks was a valuable addition to the health service, and would oversee the training of new junior and senior medical staff in the department.

“In our emergency department we rotate junior doctors from Austin Health, Peninsula Health and Monash Health. They have come up on rotation recently and we regularly take them on as our emergency departments are accredited facilities for training,” she said.

“In addition to that, we have more senior presence in the emergency department, particularly in peak hours between 7pm and midnight, just like any Melbourne hospital.”

Wonthaggi Hospital has visiting medical doctors joining the team, with surgeons being sought this week.

“Dr Poranee Buttery is an excellent credit to our team. She is now working with general practitioners and anaesthetists to ensure they are well supported as part of our focus to develop more robust clinical governance,” Ms Child said.

Dr Buttery worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital and is working at Wonthaggi Hospital to rebuild its paediatric surgery.

Wonthaggi is also hosting a number of registrars who will receive hands-on clinical practice.

“They receive enormous exposure and work hard to support those doctors. We have got a bit of growth happening here which is really exciting,” Ms Child said.

Here to help: Monash Medical Rural student Monique Bihari and general practitioner Ben O’Leary are new faces at Leongatha Healthcare.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=24014

Posted by on Feb 13 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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