Awards recognise doctors’ devotion to care in rural WA

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
Dr Susan Downes has won a Rural Health West award.
Camera IconDr Susan Downes has won a Rural Health West award. Credit: Picture: Rural Health West

Two Pilbara doctors have been in the spotlight after being acknowledged for their long-term commitment to rural communities.

The doctors received awards at the Rural Health West Doctors’ Service Awards on April 8, which was attended by WA Governor Kerry Sanderson and Deputy Premier and Health Minister Roger Cook.

Dr Susan Downes received the award for remote and clinically challenging medicine for her work caring for remote Aboriginal communities.

Dr Downes has visited the remote communities of Jigalong, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawarritji to ensure all Aboriginal women have access to the appropriate standards of health care.

She is known for tailoring her care to meet the needs of her patients, often speaking with them at creek beds and swimming holes.

Karratha Sonic HealthPlus Dr Craig Drummond in Karratha was recognised for 20 years of medical service in rural WA.

Rural Health West chief executive Tim Shackleton said it was a privilege to acknowledge the two Pilbara doctors.

He said it continued to be difficult to attract doctors to work in the Pilbara.

“It is testament to the dedication of these two doctors that both have cared for communities in the region for significant periods,” Mr Shackleton said.

“Having continuity of care and building a relationship with your doctor is so important to people living in rural and remote communities.

“It enables them to build rapport and trust with their doctor ,which has a positive impact on their health.”

He said Rural Health was honoured to acknowledge the many doctors who had dedicated their careers to caring for rural and remote communities in WA.

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