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Rural hospital medicine specialists were welcomed

Friday, October 9 2015

Rural hospital medicine specialists were welcomed

Newly-appointed rural hospital medicine specialists were welcomed to Dargaville Hospital last week; with video conferencing technology fundraised by the Kaipara community linking up their welcome.

Northland DHB has taken back the responsibility for the medical staffing of Dargaville Hospital and in turn welcomed three out of the four new doctors who will be on rotation at the hospital.

“Northland DHB has made a commitment to retain medical services close to home for the people of the Kaipara”, said Jen Thomas, operations manager, Dargaville Hospital.

“These four highly trained doctors are going to ensure our community receives a safe and sustainable hospital service”.

Being a part of the community is an important aspect of country life and the doctors were encouraged to get involved in any way they could.

“The Dargaville community is very passionate about retaining and enhancing health services locally and will support the new residents in any way we can”, offered Debbie Evans, chief executive, Kaipara Community Health Trust.

Kaitaia Hospital clinical lead Dr Sarah Clarke will be providing professional support for the new recruits, including her partner Dr Scott Wilson who is moving up from Ashburton. Dr Wilson is on the board of the Rural Hospital Training Programme and an executive member of the Rural Hospital Network and joined the welcome from Kaitaia via video conferencing.

“I have been touched with how Māori culture permeates throughout everything we do in Northland from our home to our work, and after my first visit I realised what an incredible opportunity this is”.

Dr Wilson will be sharing his time between Kaitaia and Dargaville hospitals and starts in November.

Another of the new doctors, Dr Miriam Duffy, hails from Ireland, and has been in New Zealand since 2004. After spending one year each at Whangarei and Dargaville hospitals, she is now on rotation in Dargaville.

“I’ve just finished my first week in Dargaville, and I’m excited to be a part of the service Dargaville Hospital provides to the community”.

Operations manager of Kaitaia Hospital, Neta Smith, also attended via video conferencing and noted: “We have the best rural trained specialists in the country and our District Hospitals in Northland support each other, which adds to the delivery of services locally, be that in Kaitaia or Dargaville.”

The first point of contact for all health concerns during the day or after-hours will remain through Dargaville Medical Centre on 09 4398079 where people will be put through to the triage nurse. If they are directed to the hospital, additional advanced triage nurse training is currently underway so that nurses can see, treat and discharge patients with minor ailments, or decide if the GP or the hospital doctor needs to be called.

This will ensure that those people who need to be seen by a medical practitioner are seen in a timely manner, while those who do not need this intervention are cared for by the triage nurse. 



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