Griffith’s medical industry has been diagnosed with a chronic staff shortage, but doctors say they may have come up with a cure.
The campus director of the University of NSW Murrumbidgee Regional Medical Training Hub has devised a cunning 'multi-prong strategy' which could entice more young doctors into the region.
Doctor Damien Limberger said UNSW would start a marketing campaign to promote Griffith and a four-year training program for young doctors.
Dr Limberger said the plan involved getting young people to come for the training and stay for the comfortable Griffith lifestyle.
“Doctors who rotate to the Griffith region for work say they would never come here if it wasn’t for their job,” Dr Limberger said.
“But once they come here and they settle for a couple of weeks they enjoy their time.”
Dr Limberger himself came to Griffith 11 years ago intending to stay for one year, but he ended up falling in love with the town and the rural clinic has been unable to get rid of him since.
Dr Luke Manestar-Forde is an anaesthesiologist and UNSW tutor who can put his students to sleep without anaesthetics, and he said rural doctor shortages were a problem Australia-wide.
“It’s all about making things more attractive and showing the advantages of rural health,” he said.
Member for Murray Austin Evans said his electorate desperately needed more doctors.
“What Damien is doing is crucial,” Mr Evans said.
“Getting professionals out to these areas is tough, but once you get them into the community they just love it.”