The Great Southern region now has more than 24 medical specialists living in the region with the appointment of the first resident geriatrician who will be based at Albany Health Campus at the end of this month.
Health Minister Kim Hames said the facilities at the recently constructed Albany Health Campus provided an excellent opportunity for doctors wanting to work in a state-of-the-art facility in a regional location.
"The increasing number of highly regarded specialists choosing to live and work in Albany has resulted in improved medical services, increased capacity to treat more patients locally and has provided a more sustainable workforce in the region over the past three years," Dr Hames said.
"The resident specialists include an oncologist and general physician who together have been providing a highly valued service to the Great Southern community for 30 years.
"That's in addition to a well-known and respected Western Australian respiratory physician who moved to Albany in 2015 and an orthopaedic surgeon who has performed almost 1,000 elective and emergency procedures in the past two years."
The Minister said the health campus now had three resident general surgeons who, with their visiting colleagues, performed the second highest number of elective surgery cases each year in the WA Country Health Service. Other specialists work across areas such as general medicine, critical care, mental health, medical imaging, public health, palliative care and obstetrics.
The increase in local specialists and regular visiting specialists has been credited with a reduction in the number of patients accessing Patient Assisted Travel payments to travel to Perth to attend specialist appointments.
There had also been an increase in the number of junior doctors at Albany Health Campus with eight resident medical officers, six interns and nine registrars, and the facility is expanding its telehealth service to reduce the number of patients needing to travel out of the region.
Dr Hames said Albany Health Campus had earned a reputation for its high-tech education and simulation training facilities, plus its adoption of cutting edge technology such as electronic discharge summaries to improve communication between hospitals, specialists and GPs.
$170.4 million Albany Health Campus opened in May 2013, including $60.9 million Royalties for Regions funding
A geriatrician is a specialist who focuses on health care of elderly people
Minister's office - 6552 5300