Trainee doctors plan for region
THE quality of hospital staff in Warwick and Stanthorpe means Queensland Health doesn’t need to centralise its medical training in Brisbane or Toowoomba, a district health boss said yesterday.
Darling Downs Health Service District acting chief executive Dr Peter Bristow told Southern Downs Regional councillors at yesterday’s general meeting that negotiations were being formalised to house medical students in the region’s two hospitals.
Griffith University is trying to organise funding to construct student accommodation for around 20 medical and other health profession students in Warwick alone and another six in Stanthorpe.
Mr Bristow told councillors the university had made initial contact with the local authority to discuss the planning process but that Griffith was also exploring the possibility of building tutorial rooms for up to 60 students.
“We are on the cusp of agreeing for them to have access to our land,” Mr Bristow said.
The acting chief executive was in Warwick yesterday to talk to council about upcoming changes, which would see the district body gain governance of itself instead of being run by Queensland Health and being directly funded by the Federal Government.
The national health reforms have a way to go before becoming fully implemented but Mr Bristow said he hoped it would take the “clunkiness” out of the way our health services were delivered with more transparent reporting.
Locally however, he spoke about the future of the Warwick facilities and said the Old Oaks had been essentially rebuilt with the mental health service moving in there.
He said next to that unit there was a new consulting room where visiting specialists such as orthopaedics, cardiologists and paediatricians could treat patients.
The proposed student development will have to jump through planning department hoops but Mr Bristow said when it gets up and running, it would be of great benefit to the community.
As part of the development four dental chairs are to be positioned in the downstairs of the Old Oaks building for a trainee dental clinic.
“These are exciting developments,” Mr Bristow said.
“We would be using existing resources to be able to facilitate clinical training, which would be of long term benefit to both Warwick and Stanthorpe.”
He said it would not compete with the private dental system.
“From our point of view we now send interns to both Stanthorpe and Warwick and that’s a reflection of their staff there.
“Because of the quality we don’t need to centralise.”