Calling Rural Docs …

The Kangaroo Island Rural Masterclass is rapidly approaching (Nov 15/16th) – sadly due to non-engagement from the local Hospital it’s been impossible to run using the facilities of local ED and Theatre ….

… so we’re off to the local pub (which thankfully has conference facilities) for a day and a half of short lectures, hands-on skills stations and general exchange of ideas. Content is mostly on resus themes across EM/Anaes with a dollop of trauma surgery and obstetrics, aimed at the needs of the rural doctor, not the tertiary centre specialist.

So – no options for immediate backup, use of awake fibre optic intubation, massive transfusion protocols, ROTEM/TEG, Pan-Scan or ENT assistance – instead dealing with critical illness with minimal equipment and limited staff. Clearly there’s a lot to learn from the experts – those who practice in austere environments as a routine. So I’m delighted that we’ve got facilitators from medSTAR, RFDS Qld, Paramedics and the Australian Antarctic Division…

If it works, this could be the start of something new – the establishment of an annual event, delivered in rural locations around SA, playing to the needs of rural generalists. Or, as one of my colleagues says “doing fun shit, not boring CPD lectures from those who don’t understand rural”.


Handlebars are optional for rural docs – unless you are based in Quorn


Most importantly, the RDASA are hosting their AGM immediately after finish of activity on the Friday. I am no fan of committees, but it has to be said that the RDASA is the ONLY organisation that stands up for rural doctors…and yet they don’t have a large membership base.

The RDASA, like other State-based associations, falls under the banner of the RDAA. They represent rural doctors on the industrial front, on training issues, on workforce. They are the voice of rural doctors in SA.

It is irksome that many rural doctors benefit from the work of the RDASA, yet can’t be bothered to join. These are the same docs who grizzle about the current contract and failure of other organisations to take them seriously. There is an alarming disconnect between rural doctors and metrocentric State Health department, the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency of SA and the new Medicare Locals.

So – a plea. If you are a rural doctor in SA… or a rural registrar … join the RDASA. The subs aren’t that much … and you will be able to have a voice on issues such as :

  • contract negotiations with Country Health SA (new contract due Nov 2014)
  • workforce planning including recruitment & retention
  • quarantining procedural training posts for rural trainees
  • development of our own rural medicine conference (with hands on FOAMed sessions)
  • involvement in State-wide safety & quality initiatives

Click below to look at the websites of RDASA and RDAA respectively.



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