New direc­tor ap­pointed

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jorja McDon­nell jorja.mcdon­nell@west­ern­

A DOC­TOR with ex­ten­sive ru­ral ex­pe­ri­ence has been ap­pointed as the new ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of med­i­cal ser­vices in the South West Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice.

Dr Tim Smart comes most re­cently from sim­i­lar po­si­tions in Orange, NSW, and the Cen­tral Queens­land HHS in Glad­stone.

His ex­ten­sive re­sume also in­cludes ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions in Wide Bay HHS, Western Aus­tralia Coun­try Health Ser­vice, and health ser­vices in Fiji and New Zealand.

Dr Smart holds fel­low­ships of both the Royal Aus­tralian Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­ti­tion­ers and the Royal Aus­tralasian Col­lege of Med­i­cal Ad­min­is­tra­tors.

He said he was thrilled to be head­ing west.

“I’ve al­ready started get­ting around the re­gion to meet staff and visit all our fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

“I’m pas­sion­ate about ru­ral health and the de­liv­ery of qual­ity health ser­vices to peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas as close as pos­si­ble to where they live.

“I’m keen to ex­plore ev­ery av­enue for de­liv­er­ing as many ser­vices as pos­si­ble lo­cally, in­clud­ing the fly­ing spe­cial­ist ser­vices.

“The South West HHS al­ready has an en­vi­able rep­u­ta­tion in the de­liv­ery of tele­health ser­vices and this is an area that is an ab­so­lute game-changer for ru­ral health ser­vices, and I in­tend to build upon it.”

Dr Smart ac­knowl­edged he would have a chal­lenge ahead of him due to the sheer size of the health ser­vice, but said tele­health was where the re­gion would lead the way.

“The South West is a huge re­gion, so pro­vid­ing ex­ten­sive health­care ser­vices to our res­i­dents can be a chal­lenge, which is why tele­health ser­vices are vi­tal.

“All 17 of our health fa­cil­i­ties are tele­healthen­abled and this has al­lowed the de­vel­op­ment of a range of new and in­no­va­tive ser­vice de­liv­ery mod­els.

“As a re­sult, we have been able to in­crease and con­tinue to in­crease ac­cess to a wider range of ser­vices right across the health ser­vice.

“We can use it to sup­port chronic dis­ease man­age­ment, as well as to de­liver spe­cial­ist con­sul­ta­tions and re­views and a range of com­mu­nity and al­lied health ser­vices.

“Thanks to tele­health, hun­dreds of peo­ple no longer have to travel out­side our re­gion or too far away from home for a clin­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion or fol­low-up.

“It cuts down trav­el­ling time and pro­vides ready ac­cess to many spe­cial­ist and other ser­vices that are not avail­able at a par­tic­u­lar fa­cil­ity.”

Dr Smart is re­plac­ing out­go­ing ex­ec­u­tive Dr Chris Buck, who is re­turn­ing to Western Aus­tralia to pur­sue other ca­reer op­tions.


LEAD­ING THE WAY: Dr Tim Smart, the new head doc­tor in the South West Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice, says he is pas­sion­ate about ru­ral health and the de­liv­ery of qual­ity and ac­ces­si­ble health­care ser­vices.

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