Health Workforce Solutions Team Meet Primary Health Service Providers in Rural Queensland!

10 August 2022

Hws Practice Visit Dr Eirik Yttrland Blog Image

Our Health Workforce Solutions Team conducted visits to rural practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) in identified Health Workforce Needs Assessment (HWNA) locations and/or locations with critical workforce needs throughout June and July 2022.

Our activities and priorities are aligned with HWNA findings and meetings organised with primary health care providers to discuss their recruitment needs, barriers and ongoing support we can offer in this current workforce climate. We have gathered feedback about current and emerging issues impacting recruitment and practice sustainability. This feedback will be used for our strategic planning so that issues can be addressed, as well as for advocacy for primary health care in rural areas of Queensland.

Meetings were held with 18 General Practitioner (GP) practices, five Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs) and three Allied Health (AH) practices in Bamaga, Innisfail, Cairns, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Rockhampton, Mt Morgan, Emu Park, Kingaroy, Murgon and Nanango.  

One of the highlights of our practice visits was the opportunity for our Regional Coordinator, Naomi Wallace to meet Dr Eirik Ytterland who she recruited to Emu Park, an identified HWNA location. Dr Ytterland is now calling rural Queensland home after relocating here from Norway. You can read his story on our website here. As part of our case management activities, we always like to see that doctors are happy in their new roles and it was an absolute pleasure to talk to Dr Ytterland in person and to see that he is enjoying his job and new life in rural Queensland.

Read more about Dr Ytterland

During this trip we also assisted a practice in a rural location not to close their doors due to loss of staff. This is the only bulk billing practice in town and potential closure was putting thousands of patients at risk. By working collaboratively with other stakeholders and with assistance from the Local MP we managed to address the situation and the doctor has recently commenced and addressed this Priority 1 critical need. We are very pleased with this outcome and remain committed to providing the highest level of service to support our rural health professionals and communities in need.

We would like to thank all practices and ACCHOs who took the time to meet with us during the practice visits and show us around town and their services. This has been invaluable and greatly appreciated. Our Regional Coordinators are continuing to monitor critical issues on the ground and are there to support you. If you need assistance at any time, contact our team at: