From Zimbabwe to Kapunda: Meet our Regional Doctor, Samunga
The health of a country community is far too often compromised in rural and regional Australia, with small towns and regional centres struggling to attract medical professionals and encourage them to stay long-term.
The common experience is shared right across our nation, with Flow regions such as the Mallee in Victoria, and South Australia's West Coast having to work hard as a community to maintain a consistent doctor.
Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad recently brought the issue to the attention of Parliament, highlighting Horsham's struggle of losing 9 doctors in recent times.
This is despite a financial incentive seeing rural doctors receive three dollars more on bulk-billing than a doctor practising in an urban area - with Mr Broad saying the community just can’t seem to attract and retain them.
“It’s a vibrant town of 20,000 people, there are great education facilities, and it’s a great place to live – if we’re not able to attract doctors we’ve obviously got some of the settings wrong,” he said.
“We need to up the incentives and take a deeper look at why we are having trouble attracting doctors in our country towns and the steps we can take to fix that.”
“People who live in regional Australia deserve the same level of care as those in the city," Mr Broad said.
However the outlook is not all doom and gloom for the future prospects of regional health - young up and coming medical students like Samunga Nyoni (pictured) are keen to make a difference to the industry and health of our regional communities, by choosing to work in, and becoming a part of them.
Samunga is currently doing her regional medical placement in Kapunda, and came into the Flow studios to share her story and positive experiences of working and learning medicine in a regional area.