Emergency training showcased in Cairns

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

An Albany doctor will be showcasing an emergency medicine training program that is helping to attract and retain young doctors to the Great Southern at the National Rural Health Conference in Cairns today.

The Emergency Medicine and Education Training program is a Commonwealth-funded scheme designed to improve the emergency skills and knowledge of non-specialist doctors working in regional and rural towns.

Albany Hospital acting director of emergency medicine Russell Young said the EMET funding, which is segregated from regular Country Health Service funding, provided the extra training and support needed by junior doctors headed to regional locations.

“In Katanning and Mt Barker at the moment, we are seeing a number of fairly in experienced junior doctors coming down from Perth to do some real medicine, which is fantastic for the region,” Dr Young said.

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“There are 15 doctors in Albany, seven doctors in Denmark, nine in Mt Barker and seven in Katanning, who work in the Albany emergency department doing occasional shifts and helping in emergency.”

Dr Young said before the EMET program was rolled out, local GPs could become isolated and feel unsupported, which made it harder to retain doctors in the regions.

He said the EMET program had helped create a network among the doctors Albany, Denmark, Mt Barker and Katanning.

“It can be quite nerve-racking for a doctor who doesn’t necessarily have a huge amount of emergency experience seeing a really sick patient in a smaller site,” he said.

“If a doctor has a patient with a problem in Katanning who knows the specialist in Albany through the training, they can contact them and we can make the care more seamless.”

Albany has already benefited with three doctors deciding to make the city their permanent home after being involved in the EMET program.

“Because they see the kind of work we do and they like Albany and they enjoy the collegiate atmosphere, they decide to settle in the region because it’s a great place to work,” Dr Young said.

Dr Young said the Great Southern region had become one of Australia’s leading lights in emergency training.

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