PDH returns to three anaesthetists

Thursday, 22 January 2015
The recruitment of two new anaesthetists will allow more women to have babies in Portland and open the door for more surgical procedures at Portland District Health.

Dr Geoff Hool has already joined PDH and Dr Peter Reid will start in February. Along with Dr Scott Dellar who combines GP work with anaesthetics, PDH has now returned to a full complement of the specialists after the recent resignation of Dr David Comyn.

Dr Hool is relocating from Queensland while Dr Reid already lives in Portland and has been previously working in Mount Gambier.

CEO Chris Giles said the recruitment was good news for the Portland region.

Ideally we need three anaesthetists to provide a 24-7 service, particularly for our maternity service, Ms Giles said.

This recruitment gives us more scope and flexibility and will be a significant advantage the the health service and everyone in our area.

PDH is also joining with other regional hospitals and the Deakin University School of Medicine to investigate opportunities to attract, retain and share more specialists and surgeons as part of a sub-regional medical workforce.

Portland's resident general surgeon Mr Thair Abbas will leave in June and Ms Giles expects finding a full-time replacement will be difficult.

It isn't easy to attract general surgeons to smaller rural hospitals but we are confident that joint initiatives across the region will allow us to keep the service going at the current level, Ms Giles said.

We are looking at joint opportunities and will be talking to Warrnambool surgeons about picking up more work in Portland, she said.

We've got theatre time available whereas there is pressure on theatre facilities at other hospitals so there are good opportunities in Portland.

Ms Giles said visiting ear, nose and throat surgeon Mr Laurie Ryan was retiring but was being replaced by Ms Anne Cass from Hamilton.

PDH is also over its target for ophthalmology surgery and is handling more orthopaedic surgery.

PDH continues to attract a strong team of visiting specialist surgeons.

Overall our surgical numbers are up on previous years, which is a good sign for the hospital, Ms Giles said.

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