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Four new GPs join the Hunter, New England and Manning regions, following successful grant program

Following a successful grant offering, the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN), has announced the arrival of four new general practitioners (GPs) to the Hunter, New England North West and Manning regions. The GPs have commenced employment in Muswellbrook, Gunnedah, Armidale and Taree.

The four new GPs have been recruited from Sydney, inter-state and internationally. The successful practices include Faulkner Street Medical Practice in Armidale, Barber Street Practice in Gunnedah, Brook Medical Centre in Muswellbrook and Horizon Skin Cancer and Medical Centre in Taree. The grant funding was provided to the practices to use towards the recruitment and retention of the new doctors.

HNECC PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis, said the PHN had collaborated with general practice across the region to develop an incentive program aimed at redressing the shortage of general practitioners. “Successful recruitment from the grant funding is a great accomplishment for the PHN and the general practices within the Hunter, New England, North West and Manning regions who have worked in partnership to ensure the funding opportunities were fully subscribed”.

“The grant funding is one of a number of ongoing initiatives aiming to increase our medical and health professional workforce.”

Barber Street Practice in Gunnedah was the recipient of a grant and has recruited Dr Marcelo Wierzynski de Oliveira from the Brazilian Air Force. Di Tumbers, Practice Manager at Barber Street Practice, said the practice had been struggling to recruit following the retirement of one of their GPs in 2019.

“The process to sponsor an international medical graduate provided a number of challenges including significant paperwork and application fees. We also hired a visa specialist to assist with the process. The grant funding eased the burden of these costs,” said Ms Tumbers.

“A few years ago we lost GPs to retirement. The remaining GPs were unable to absorb their patients and we had to advise patients to seek a new GP. We are pleased to see many former patients return to the practice due to having appointments available with Dr Wierzynski de Oliveira.”

“To practices struggling to recruit, I would recommend recruitment of an International Medical Graduate. There is plenty of support available from the PHN and the Rural Doctors Network. We are extremely happy with Dr Wierzynski de Oliveira, he offers lots of experience and has settled in at Barber Street Practice like he has always been here.”

The grants are one of many PHN initiatives to address the maldistribution of the primary health workforce and encourage doctors to work in regional, rural and remote communities.


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