Our 6th year medical elective is a wonderful opportunity to explore an area of medicine that takes us out of our comfort zone and exposes us to a medical field yet unexplored. Thanks to the assistance of the SPINRPHEX Rural Scholarship I was able to undertake a month of my elective in beautiful Broome, Western Australia. I worked within Broome Hospital, at the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, and visited the remote Aboriginal communities of Lombadina, Beagle Bay and One Arm Point during this time.
During my elective I gained valuable insight into the issues currently affecting Aboriginal healthcare, and was privileged to meet Doctors who had dedicated their professional lives to ‘closing the gap’. Visiting these remote communities also taught me about the resources involved in caring for these Aboriginal peoples and the barriers to healthcare that play such a large role in the current Aboriginal health crisis.
In working toward a brighter future for Australian healthcare I believe that it should be mandatory for all Australian health practitioners and policy-makers to visit these remote communities; speak to the local peoples and listen to THEIR concerns, ideas and visions for the future of their healthcare. Only in this manner can I foresee positive, equitable and resourceful change being made to a healthcare system that is currently failing to meet the needs of Australia’s first peoples.
UWA – Medicine