TWO relieving doctors will be based at the Esk Hospital and the Brisbane Valley Medical Services - but only until early in the New Year.
The appointment of the doctors, who will share shifts between the hospital and the medical services practice, was announced by the West Moreton-Oxley Medicare Local (WMOML) yesterday.
One of the doctors will be on a six-week contract, while the second is on for three months. However, a spokesperson for WMOML said the intention was to renew the doctors.
The initiative has already seen the first two relieving doctors begin in the area and aims to provide greater accessibility and shorter waiting times to Esk residents seeking medical assistance while the hospital looks for a new superintendent.
The move to place more doctors in Esk comes after a public meeting saw dozens of residents express their concern over the future of the hospital.
Relieving doctor James Ware said he put his hand up to be one of two doctors enlisted to boost services after hearing of the need for volunteers through the Ipswich Hospital.
"I really enjoyed my previous experiences at Laidley and Springfield and loved working rurally," he said.
"I enjoy the diversity of the role, being able to make a real difference in the rural community and the opportunity to see things from a different perspective."
West Moreton-Oxley Medicare Local CEO Vicki Poxon said increased accessibility to services meant residents would be able to seek care in their local area.
"Our studies show the Esk community has a need for more accessible services and these new relieving doctors are helping to meet this need," she said.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the new staff was a step in the right direction.
"Two additional doctors, although temporary, is good news for the region," he said.
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