Community members part of the Clermont4Doctors program.
Community members part of the Clermont4Doctors program.

Plan to attract long-term medical support to CQ town

A FIVE-YEAR program encouraging doctors to make the move to Clermont will launch this weekend.

Glencore’s Clermont4Doctors initiative has been developed to address the town’s lack of medical practitioners by assisting new doctors and their families to settle in the community.

Project co-ordinator and Clermont local Sandy Frost, whose 10-year-old daughter suffers from juvenile arthritis, knows how important it is to have continual medical care by the same doctor.

She said it was easy for small changes to be missed when doctors were changing so regularly.

“The locum doctors are generally here for a week or two at a time and sometimes they come back but sometimes they don’t,” she said.

“They do a great job but then you have to tell your story to a new doctor and its tough especially for people frequently visiting the doctors.”

The $435,000 program, funded by Glencore, encourages doctors to stay in Clermont permanently through financial incentives and really connecting them with the community.

“If they really enjoy golf, they can contact the project to get in touch with the local club or to connect with other people who also enjoy it,” Mrs Frost said.

She says it can help doctors and their families create that work, life balance they don’t normally build while simply visiting Clermont.

“Clermont is just a special place,” Mrs Frost said.

“When doctors come up here all they see is the hospital and doctor surgery and the constant line of people needing them, but it’s about giving back to them as well.”

Mrs Frost is “super passionate” about bringing the program to life to provide better long term medical support to the community and its elderly residents.

The Clermont4Doctors program officially launches on Saturday, July 18 where stakeholders will meet with perspective doctors.

The program draws on a successful pilot in the New South Wales regional town of Mudgee, where in partnership with the community and local medical centres, Glencore put together a five-year program that brought 11 new doctors to the town.

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