The Regional Medical Specialists Association (of Australia) was formed in 2018 at its inaugural general meeting. This was held at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra and the Calvary John James Hospital over the weekend of 6 and 7 April.
This unique Association was formed in recognition of the unique challenges and privileges enjoyed by medical specialists working in Regional and Rural Australia.
We recognise that Rural Medical Specialists share a common identity among themselves and and integrate quickly into the communities in which they live in practice. This is quite different to the experience of metropolitan-based specialists who provide “outreach” services on a fly-in, fly-out basis.
Members know that the unique identity of a rural specialist transcends what subspecialty each member may practice. A strong collegiate bond forms across all the specialties in a regional centre and with locally practising general practitioners (GPs).
The Association’s main mission is to improve access to specialist care by local specialists in or close to home for patients who choose to live outside of major metropolitan areas. To achieve this the Association recognises that this will need the support of local government, local hospital administrators and Departments of Health, State and Commonwealth.
It is not our intention to become yet another body calling for “more money for the bush”. Neither do we want to be seen as a group calling for more medical immigration.
Australia already produces more medical graduates than almost any other developed country in the world.
Membership organisations like the RMSA serve their members not only by advocating for important causes. We bring together people of diverse backgrounds to exchange views on matters of mutual interest. We develop policies to influence the future of our nation; particularly for the nearly one-third of Australians living in rural and regional centres. During these exchanges we support each other intellectually and spiritually, helping build resilience.
Rural doctors work hard; perhaps harder than many city doctors, but generally enjoy higher morale. They can see immediate results from their work. their patients are grateful and respectful. Their colleagues in all disciplines are good-hearted people there to do an important job.