Retired doctor delivers Emerald

EMERALD Hospital maternity services, suspended on January 16 due to a shortage of doctors, have reopened with a retired specialist filling in until two new overseas-trained doctors start work.

Dr Reginald Williams admits fossicking at The Gemfields helped him make his decision.

The obstetrician and gynaecologist has been visiting The Gemfields for the past 50 years, fossicking with a pick and shovel for that elusive sapphire.

It is obviously a pastime Dr Williams enjoys, since he also goes fossicking at Inverell in New South Wales.

"It's so relaxing, the mind isn't on anything else,'' he said. "I haven't found any big ones.''

Dr Williams saw that Emerald Hospital was in trouble through the media, and thought it would be a good place to fill in.

"I saw they needed an obstetrician,'' he said.

If it turns out well, Dr Williams said he might consider relief locum work in the future "here and there''.

The 77-year-old graduated from general medicine from the University of Queensland in 1955, practising on the Gold Coast before spending two years as a registrar at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane.

It was then he decided to return to university, and this time completed his specialist degree in obstetrics and gynaecology in England, graduating in 1968.

He worked six months in England before returning to Australia, spending his time between private practice and work at the Mater Hospital for the next 20 years.

For the first three years he was also the gynaecologist for Gold Coast Hospital.

Dr Williams retired in December 2003 to Brisbane.

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