Fijian medico battles shadow of ?Dr Death



'DR DEATH' gave overseas trained doctors an undeserved bad name, but Fijian Dr Kamlesh Kumar's love for his work and the people of Gladstone will keep him in town.

Harbour City Family Practice's Dr Kumar moved to Gladstone six months ago after 10 years working in practices in Fiji. He said the adjustment was difficult, even without suspicion on overseas trained doctors.

'It was a totally new place where my family didn't know anyone,' Dr Kumar said.

'Starting in a new environment takes a while, time to get adjusted to the new medical system and build up a client base.

'There have been a few cases where they've asked if I know or liaised with 'Dr Death' ? I have never even been to India.'

Practice manager Lawrence Hosking said there would always be a degree of suspicion but the practice was lucky to have Dr Kumar.

'Occasionally someone will query where they're from and their qualifications... unless your name is Smith or Jones they'll write you off,' Mr Hosking said.

'Fiji doctors are well trained ? they're pretty much the same as Australian qualifications and often they're trained by Australians, so the Australian Medical Association queue has a preference for them.'

Despite any negative reactions to his name, Dr Kumar said one of the most important things for a doctor was his relationship with the patient.

'Sometimes they come back just to say thank you and that's really a reward to hear that,' Dr Kumar said.

Dr Kumar said he was nearly fully booked and his family was happy in Gladstone.



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