The options include: obtaining sufficient funds and paying adequate wages; creating a network of skilled doctors who would be sent on rotation to remote areas; creating a robust IT infrastructure with video conferencing that would help experienced doctors in urban areas to diagnose patients in remote areas and guide fresh recruits to provide better treatment. It is expected that if the recommendations are adopted, then there would be more experienced consultation available for patients in remote areas.
Doctors and trained physicians are the life support entities of any healthcare system and this is more so in remote and rural areas that have few hospitals and health care units. Gorman (2009) reports that many regions of Queensland and New Zealand have 70% of required doctors. The author has reported that these regions also have a high level of dependency on foreign born doctors and about 42% of the doctors in these regions are of foreign origin. While this factor should not be an issue since foreign born doctors are also competent, the disturbing fact is that it is difficult to attract and retain doctors in the rural areas of Queensland. Fowler (1997) comments that while fresh doctors and interns do join rural practice, it is meant to fulfill certain requirements to obtain a medical degree. The author has estimated that since 2005, about 182 to 681 doctors per annum have left the rural practice and migrated to bigger cities with better career prospects. Better career prospects in cities, changing priorities, poor rural living conditions and lack of skill development can frustrate even the most ardent and medical practitioner who would then quit the rural posting. This behavior and trend among doctors has become very severe and lives of children, pregnant women, aboriginal people and the elderly are at stake.
This paper examines the ...
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