GREAT DOCTOR: Patient Jaichelle Bligh (left) with Dr Alma Va'a at the Dalby Goondir clinic.
GREAT DOCTOR: Patient Jaichelle Bligh (left) with Dr Alma Va'a at the Dalby Goondir clinic. Sophie Volker

Closing the gap in Dalby

DALBY doctor Alma Va'a is taking a giant step towards closing the gap for indigenous health care.

She has been accepted into a national program enabling her to further her GP specialist skills and knowledge while continuing to work at GOONDIR Health Services in Dalby.

The Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) delivers vocational training for medical practitioners throughout Australia, with a focus on doctors working in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

Dr Alma Va'a said the RVTS program allowed doctors who worked in far remote areas to stay for a long time, developing the skills they needed.

"Especially in AMS (Aboriginal Medical Services), it's extremely important to source doctors who will stay a long time in the one place, and RVTS really helps with that continuity of care for patients,” Dr Va'a said.

"The program allows doctors who are interested in and enjoy this kind of work to stay where they are, rather than having to move to centro or metropolitan areas to train further.

"The beauty of it is that I can stay put for the next three years or however long it will take to complete my training, because I love working here in the Dalby community for GOONDIR,” she said.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, RVTS delivers vocational training for medical practitioners throughout Australia wanting to further their medical career.

RVTS CEO Patrick Giddings said there were 30 AMS doctors across Australia who were now receiving training and support through RVTS.

"By training and supporting doctors where they are most needed, RVTS plays a critical role in enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities to attract and retain their health care professionals and clinicians,” Dr Giddings said.


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