GLADSTONE will soon have a permanent orthopaedic surgeon, an appointment made possible through a partnership between the public and private hospitals.
Dr Gerard Kilian is due to start in June and will service the Gladstone Mater Hospital and Gladstone Hospital.
Gladstone Hospital medical services director Nicki Murdock said the public and private partnership would hopefully help attract more specialists to the region by allowing for full-time positions and providing a mix of public and private work.
"Often we would like to employ someone but we don't have a full-time position for them so if we can do some private work it means we can attract a full-time person," she said.
"And a lot of the people that work privately, they actually want to do some public work because they feel that they should give back to the public system. That's pretty important to them."
Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland chief executive officer Ian Mill said attracting specialists to the regions was a problem Australia-wide and the public-private partnership aimed to work around this.
"Certainly from the Mater's point of view, it's all about working together to better deliver a service to the Gladstone community," he said.
"It's working exceptionally well and I think evidence of that is the appointment of the orthopaedic surgeon that we've been consulting."
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service chief executive officer Len Richards said having a permanent orthopaedic surgeon was a "real step forward" but growing the services would be easier once more specialists came to Gladstone.
"It feels like it is a turning point in terms of the realisation between the two organisations and how we're working together to drive something differently," he said.
"Once you get those positions filled, plus the orthopaedic surgeon, then you start to talk about a different staffing level and I think it will become easier then."
Doctor understands challenges in regional areas
ORTHOPEDIC surgeon Dr Gerard Kilian has consulted many Gladstone patients as a visiting specialist from Rockhampton, but is looking forward to being based at the Gladstone Mater Hospital and Gladstone Hospital in June.
Dr Kilian has 18 years experience as an orthopedic surgeon and has worked a lot in regional areas.
"I understand the challenges you have of providing services in a regional area and I also understand the challenges that patients have," he said.
"They often have to travel and it is unnecessary to travel for what can be a minor intervention that can make a dramatic difference to someone's life."
He said that without the co-operation between the public and private hospitals, he wouldn't have been able to come to Gladstone.
"Hopefully this will be the beginning of more services in other areas in Gladstone."
An orthopedic surgeon looks after:
- Bones, muscles, tendons and nerves
- Fractures and injured tendons
- Conditions that cause pain or limit mobility and function
- Emergency department patients, people with arthritis, sport injuries and repetitive-use injuries