ABOVE: Theodore’s Dr Bruce Chater and Emerald’s Dr Ewen McPhee.
ABOVE: Theodore’s Dr Bruce Chater and Emerald’s Dr Ewen McPhee.

Change Qld Health: rural doctors

THROWING more doctors and nurses at Queensland's ailing health system is not the answer to a complex issue that appears to be overwhelming both sides of politics in the lead-up to the state election, according to the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland.

President Dr Ewen McPhee said the state's health system needed new ways of running bush hospitals to improve access to health care.

"We need to identify key towns with the infrastructure and caseload to develop new training models for doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Queensland needs to foster health teams that support each other and support isolated rural communities and get the public and private sector working better together," Dr McPhee said.

"Queensland rural doctors are calling on the new State Government to develop a new culture of team work, respect and enthusiasm for the education, training and support of the state's clinicians."

Dr McPhee said even simple investments in student housing in rural communities could reap benefits by exposing health professionals to rural practice.

"Health managers must be required to recognise the importance of teaching that will ensure that we continue to have a highly trained and professional workforce into the future," he said.

"We know positive rural training experiences produce more doctors who actually want to work in the country, not just as 'bums on seats' but as part of their community."


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