Hunt for country doctor gets a boost

Article image - Hunt for country doctor gets a boost Premier Steven Marshall discusses Kimba’s GP recruiting plan with Mayor Dean Johnson, Chief Executive Officer Deb Larwood and Deputy Mayor Megan Lienert during a stakeholder meeting in Adelaide earlier in the year.

The District Council of Kimba’s push to attract a permanent general practitioner is set to reach a wider audience thanks to a $20,000 cash injection from the South Australian Government.

Following a sustained 15 month advocacy campaign, it was announced on 26 June that Council had been successful with its application to the Rural Health Workforce Strategy Medical Workforce Recruitment Grants, with the funding earmarked to complement the organisation’s financial commitment to bringing a doctor to the Eyre Peninsula town.

Mayor, Dean Johnson, said Council now had a $35,000 fighting fund to develop a unique advertising campaign it hoped would be seen by medical professionals across the globe.

“Attracting a permanent doctor to Kimba has been identified as the number one priority for the community, so Council is in the process of creating an innovative strategy that promotes our town, the people and the amazing lifestyle we enjoy.

“Watch this space, because I guarantee that the ad campaign we launch will be memorable and make doctors in Australia and beyond contemplate a Kimba tree change.”

The grant comes on the back of a number of meetings between Council, Premier Steven Marshall and Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade, and Mayor Johnson thanked the State Government for taking an active interest in finding a solution to Kimba’s medical crisis.

“Not having a doctor isn’t just a medical problem, because there’s evidence that it also has dramatic implications on our town’s social and economic sustainability,” Mayor Johnson said.

“This grant demonstrates that the State Government recognises how critical recruiting a GP is to a healthy Kimba, and I appreciate the role both the Premier and the Minister have played in making the funding available to Council.”

Minister Wade praised Council for its ongoing commitment to attracting permanent medical services to Kimba, and for working with the State Government’s Rural Health Workforce Strategy to attract more health professionals to regional South Australia.