Thirteen local doctors from Port Hedland and South Hedland have improved their essential surgical skills through a pilot project run by The University of Western Australia to deliver training to rural and remote regions.
The local doctors are from the Hedland Health Campus, as well as GPs in the Aboriginal Health Service and General Practice trainees who are working in the community. The two days of workshops, provided by Australasia's premier medical and surgical skills training centre CTEC, based at UWA, cater to a broad level of experience of local GPs who are looking to consolidate and broaden essential surgical skills.
The training is provided by three consultant surgeons who have volunteered their time led by CTEC Director Winthrop Professor Jeff Hamdorf. They include Dr Dieter Weber from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and private practice surgeon Dr Hairul Ahmad.
"In the city anyone who requires a surgical procedure, in the case of a car accident for example, would go to an emergency department, but in the country you are likely to be the only doctor in town and therefore you need to have the skills to deal with an emergency surgical situation," Professor Hamdorf said.
The initiative, driven by CTEC in conjunction with the WA Country Health Service and Local District Medical Officers, has been supported by Royalties for Regions and industry partner Covidien.
It's the first time the CTEC courses have been taken to the Pilbara where the instructors use a variety of animal tissues to simulate surgical techniques in a safe environment.
"If we can plan training experiences for doctors in rural and remote areas then it's a lot safer and better for professional development," Professor Hamdorf said.
Professor Hamdorf said he hoped to receive further support from industry and government to take the workshops to other regional centres.