Help for medicalgraduates

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph

A program to support international medical graduates working in Port Hedland and Karratha has been rolled out.

The Forward to Fellowship program, run by Rural Health West, is designed to provide international medical graduates with personal, professional and training support to assist their integration into Australia’s medical system.

Five doctors from Hedland and one doctor from Karratha have already signed up to the program. There are still seven spots available.

Pilbara Development Commission chief executive Terry Hill said the commission was pleased to support the program through the regional grants scheme.

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“Providing access to high-quality medical professionals and services is essential to creating places people choose to live and raise a family,” he said.

Rural Health West chief executive Tim Shackleton said the program boosted the access to medical services since it was introduced in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Kambalda in 2015.

“By supporting our overseas-trained doctors we are helping to create a sustainable and stable workforce, which means patients can build a relationship with their doctor,” he said.

A 2016 review of the Goldfields program revealed a reduction in the GP turnover in the region, with doctors feeling more supported and integrated into their community.

The program will receive $106,386 in funding from the Pilbara Development Commission, $156,000 from Rural Health Workforce Australia and further funding provided by Rural Health West.

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