Rural health in the spotlight

RDAQ celebrates 30 years at annual conference in Cairns

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Indigenous health and the personal story of a first responder will feature at the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ) conference in Cairns next month.

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RDAQ president Dr Neil Beaton.

RDAQ president Dr Neil Beaton.

Indigenous health and the personal story of a first responder will feature at the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ) conference in Cairns next month as the organisation celebrates 30 years.

Queensland's rural doctors will take a break from their clinics, practices and hospitals to discuss rural and remote healthcare issues, workshop industry challenges and socialise with peers.

RDAQ president Dr Neil Beaton said the annual conference was not to be missed for medicos of all levels of experience, saying early-career doctors and medical students were encouraged to attend.

"This is the weekend each year where we learn from each other and honour the outstanding achievements of doctors and students working at the coalface of rural and remote health services in Queensland," Dr Beaton said.

This year marks three decades of RDAQ, the tenacious advocate for improved health outcomes and a sustainable workforce for remote and rural Queensland.

The 2019 RDAQ conference proceedings are built around the theme 'As Time Goes By', referencing the 30-year milestone. It takes place at the Pullman Cairns International from Thursday, 6 June to Saturday, 8 June.

Keynote speakers include Robyn Neilson who was the first responder to an on-farm accident in 2002 in which neighbour Gayle Shann lost her arm.

"This will be backed up with a session focusing on rural retrievals for senior medical students and junior doctors who are often faced with the task of arranging emergency medical retrievals while on rural placement or rotation," Dr Beaton said.

Dr Danielle Dries, Director, Indigenous Allied Health Australia and GP registrar working in rural NSW and Dr Louis Peachey, Inaugural President, Australian Indigenous Doctors Association and Rural Generalist, working in far north Queensland will deliver the first keynote address.

The annual medico-political forum will see Queensland Government and Opposition representatives address concerns from a panel of RDAQ representatives and questions from the floor.

The conference is capped off with the David Horn gala dinner and awards night, annual general meeting and the incoming RDAQ president, Longreach general practitioner, Dr Claire Walker will begin her term at the close of the conference.

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