THREE doctors with outstanding commitment to rural and remote communities have won awards for their work.
Health Minister Kim Hames honoured the doctors, along with others recognised for their decades of service to regional communities, at the Rural Health West Doctors’ Service awards held on Sunday.
The service awards, now in their fourth year, acknowledge rural GPs and resident specialists who have given 20 and 30 years of dedicated service to patients in regional Western Australia.
The award for Outstanding Service to Rural and Remote Health was presented to Dr Allan Walley of Margaret River, a doctor with 32 years of experience in rural WA.
Dr Walley, the recipient of the 2010 WA GP Research Award from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, has researched surfing injuries and set up diving standards to minimise injuries to divers. Dr Walley has also served the community as a radio presenter, taught first aid and set up fundraising events.
The award for Remote and Clinically Challenging Medicine was given to Dr Julie Graham, a Christmas Island GP who last December was instrumental in the rescue attempt and medical care of the asylum seekers whose boat collided with rocks. Dr Graham, who has spent five years on Christmas Island, showed great leadership in a time of critical need.
The award for Extraordinary Contribution to Outreach Service was presented to Kalgoorlie-Boulder obstetrician-gynaecologist Dr Barney McCallum, a specialist with a long-standing commitment to the Goldfields community.
Dr Hames said he was pleased to recognise the outstanding contribution rural doctors made to people in regional WA.
“Our dedicated rural doctors and specialists play a crucial role by providing excellent medical care and also by becoming part of the communities in which they work,” he said.
“They also serve as valuable role models to other doctors and specialists by showing how rural practice can be a rewarding career choice.
This can help us to attract top-class health professionals to our regional towns and cities.”
Rural Health West specialises in recruiting doctors to rural and remote communities. The Rural Health West Doctors’ Service Awards have been sponsored by Wesfarmers for the last three years.