Rural Health West Annual Conference

Venue: Pan-Pacific Hotel (Formerly Sheraton) Perth
PCO: Rural Health West team
Date: March 26 – 27

Rural Health West is a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation overseen by a Board of Directors whose core business is the provision of doctors to rural and remote areas of Western Australia.

As the workforce agency for Western Australia, Rural Health West works collaboratively with organisations and individuals to ensure that the health needs of rural Western Australians are met by a high-quality, sustainable health workforce.

Gerry Gannon and Prof. Michael Kidd in the Q&A

I have been anchoring their monthly satellite broadcasts for 10 years and have MC’d their conference for a number of years.

This year’s theme was “Healthy Doctor, Healthy Patient” and among the keynote speakers was Professor Dr. Michael Kidd AM, the incoming President of the World Organisation of Family Doctors. He’s co-authored a book on doctors’ health and well-being entitled “First do no harm – how to be a resilient doctor in the 21st century” He’s an inspiring speaker and despite his many commitments is still in general practice.

Dr. John Tickell in full flight

Another entertaining “talking doc” was Dr. John Tickell whose talk on “laughter, sex, vegetables and fish” was both educational and entertaining. John spends much of his time on the speaking circuit these days and having beaten brain cancer, he is full of optimism, energy and the joys of life.

On Sunday morning, Rural Health West Chair, Ian Taylor, together with Health Minister Dr. Kim Hames presented some 50 doctors with service awards for 20 and 30 years service to rural and remote communities. As I read the citations for the 30-year recipients, I was impressed by their continuing passion for the practice of medicine in rural and remote areas. Invariably, the common theme coming through was the appreciation they enjoyed and the oneness they felt with these communities. It was inspiring stuff and a great way to end the conference.

Well done to Leesa Thomas and all her colleagues for a great conference.

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