23 August 2023

Aurukun benefits from the appointment of eager GP

| Matt Nicholls
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Dr Sharleen Bowes at the Aurukun Primary Health Care Centre. She works in the community on a fortnightly basis.

Dr Sharleen Bowes at the Aurukun Primary Health Care Centre. She works in the community on a fortnightly basis.

THE Aurukun community now has direct access to a GP after the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service launched a regular service in the remote community.

Dr Sharleen Bowes began working from the Aurukun Primary Health Care Centre every second week in March and is providing much-needed medical support to the community.

Dr Bowes was previously working as a GP on the Sunshine Coast but was keen to relocate to be closer to her Weipa-based partner.

She initially worked as a locum at Weipa Hospital before taking the Aurukun outreach position.

Dr Bowes said she was thrilled to bring general practice care closer to home for Aurukun community members.

“I think the best thing is the variety of presentations which are very different to what GPs would see in a metropolitan area,” she said.

“There is a lot of scope to engage with consumers and work with them on both chronic disease management and preventative health actions.”

Dr Bowes completed her medical training in Melbourne but was always interested in rural and remote work and encouraged other young medicos to consider making the move.

“I sound like a Nike ad, but just do it!” she said.

“It probably won’t be anything like what they thought it would be, but I am enjoying it so much and it has been such a privilege providing care to the people of Aurukun.”

TCHHS executive general manager Michael Catt said he was excited the Aurukun community had access to a regular GP on site in community.

“We are dedicated to ensuring those living in our remote communities have access to health care as close to home as possible,” he said.

“Dr Bowes’ regular visits to Aurukun provide that community an exceptional level of continuity of care, supporting the already excellent work of staff based at the Aurukun PHCC.

“We rely on staff who are passionate about rural and remote health care and continue to actively recruit for positions across our region.”

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