The head of the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia will visit Wagga Wagga, in southern NSW, on Friday (March 8) to highlight the work underway to improve access and quality of emergency patient care to the city.
As part of the trip, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) President Dr Simon Judkins will visit Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, which is one of 49 hubs across Australia that delivers emergency medicine training under ACEM’s Emergency Medicine Education and Training (EMET) program.
Dr Judkins will be met on the ground by local emergency doctor Associate Professor Shane Curran, who is a Fellow of the College.
“The training provided at the hospital and another 25 sites across the Wagga Wagga region saves lives,” Dr Judkins said.
A recent training session at the hospital saw more than 20 GPs, a medical officer and a nurse given tips on how to manage challenging presentations like anaphylaxis, severe respiratory distress and paediatric cardiac arrest.
“The people of Wagga Wagga and the Riverina deserve the right to timely, high quality emergency medical care,” Dr Judkins said. “These activities are helping deliver this care.”
Dr Judkins noted Wagga Wagga is fast becoming popular as a destination for doctors, with the number of Fellows of the College living and working in the city, climbing from one to six in the last three years. Trainee emergency doctors have increased from three to eight over the same period.
“This means doctors with specialist training in emergency medicine – or who are attaining this skill set – are dedicated to providing the best care to the people of the Riverina,” he said.
A/Prof Curran added: “As well as having the opportunity to be a source of hope for patients when they are often at their most vulnerable, a real positive about living here is getting to know the people who make up this wonderful community – their families, their stories.”
Dr Judkins will also take the opportunity to visit medical students at UNSW and the University of Notre Dame Rural Clinical Schools in Wagga Wagga.
“I would encourage any medical student to consider becoming a specialist emergency doctor,” Dr Judkins said. “The variety of patients, the amazing people they will meet, the teams they will work with – all this makes it a wonderful career, in addition to working together to make our health system as good as it can be for the sake of our communities.”
Dr Judkins is also scheduled to meet Dr Joe McGirr, the independent MP for Wagga Wagga.
EMET is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health.