Quality care from doctors recognised

Alicia PereraPilbara News

Two Pilbara doctors have been recognised for their long-term commitment and high standard of service to patients living in rural and remote parts of WA at an awards ceremony last Saturday.

Dr Susan Downes and Dr Craig Drummond were acknowledged at the Rural Health West Doctors’ Service Awards, celebrating the best of quality health care in rural communities.

The event in Perth attended by the likes of WA Governor Kerry Sanderson and Deputy Premier and Health Minister Roger Cook.

Dr Downes, who has worked in remote Aboriginal communities for decades, was named the winner of the Remote and Clinically Challenging Medicine Award.

The Rural Women’s GP Service doctor regularly visits the Pilbara communities of Jigalong, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawarritji to provide Aboriginal women with culturally appropriate women’s health care and believes in tailoring her care to her patients, often speaking with them at creek beds and swimming holes.

Karratha Sonic HealthPlus GP Dr Craig Drummond was also recognised for 20 years of service to medicine in rural WA, starting off in the Great Southern before coming to Karratha in 2011.

Rural Health West chief executive Tim Shackleton said the doctors were very deserving winners.

“It continues to be difficult to attract doctors to work in the Pilbara, so it is testament to the dedication of these two doctors that both have cared for communities in the region for significant periods,” he said.

Mr Shackleton said dedication and long-term commitment were key to forming good doctor-patient relationships. “Having continuity of care and building a relationship with your doctor is so important ... to people living in rural and remote communities,” he said.

Dr Downes was also awarded a Member of the Order of Australia on this year’s Australia Day.

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