A permanent new doctor has been appointed to Cunnamulla Hospital.

South West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Linda Patat said Dr Joshua Dally had moved to Cunnamulla to take up his new appointment, along with wife Ruth and children Kaleb, 11 and Hadassah, 3.

“Dr Dally is a welcome addition to our medical workforce in Cunnamulla and I am sure the community will join me in welcoming him and his family,’’ Ms Patat said.

“He will work both at the hospital and at the Cunnamulla Primary Health Care Centre.’’

Ms Patat said Cunnamulla had a medical establishment of two full-time equivalent doctors.

“Until the appointment of Dr Dally, these positions had been filled by long-time South West medical identity Dr Chester Wilson working on a part-time basis and supported by the same regular rotating locums to ensure continuity of care,’’ she said.

“Dr Dally’s permanent appointment therefore will be a major boost for the local community.

“He and Dr Wilson will continue to serve the Cunnamulla community with the additional support of regular visiting locums.’’

Dr Dally was placed in Cunnamulla through the national Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) – an Australian Government initiative.

“I was pleased that I was able to work with the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) to get placed in Cunnamulla, which I am finding is an interesting and challenging training environment in a supportive community,” Dr Dally said.

Dr Dally, who trained in Mexico, worked in rural practice in Clermont following on from hospital practice in Mackay, Queensland and Burnie in Tasmania.

“We have been made to feel very welcome in a short period of time,’’ he said

Charleville Hospital Senior Medical Officer Dr Greg Hammond also welcome Dr Dally’s appointment.

“Joshua, as a full-time doctor, is providing important stability and continuity for the people of Cunnamulla,” he said.

“We are very excited in working with Josh to help improve the health outcomes of the Cunnamulla region.”

RVTS CEO Dr Pat Giddings said Dr Dally was part of a new targeted recruitment training focus for RVTS.

He said RVTS is working closely with rural communities with high workforce needs to attract General Practice and Rural Generalist candidates to their town.

“For the community, there are significant benefits, including the continuity of care for patients and having a doctor in the same location for at least a few years while they undertake their training,” he said.

Since 2000, RVTS has worked with more than 230 rural and remote communities across Australia assisting more than 300 doctors to gain specialist qualifications in as a General Practitioner or Rural Generalist. RVTS is an initiative of the Australian Government.