Epworth is partnering with clinicians from the Pacific region to provide them with training that is not available in their homelands.

In November, two staff from Tupua Tamasese Maleolo Hospital in the Samoan Ministry of Health will participate in a medical and nursing observership program at Epworth. A Samoan doctor and a nurse, will spend a week at Epworth Geelong and another week at Epworth Richmond, focusing on endoscopy training.

Epworth gastroenterology consultant, Dr Chris Hair has long been involved in providing training for doctors in the Pacific and has been to Tonga and Samoa multiple times.

“The program aims to expose our Samoan peers to the latest advancements in endoscopy practices, provide an understanding of Australian healthcare systems, and foster further collaborations between our organisations,” Chris said.

“The observership program will allow the Samoan team to shadow and observe the work of healthcare professionals who are providing GI related activities in theatre, predominantly endoscopy.

“They will have the opportunity to interact with clinicians, attend medical rounds, observe endoscopy and gain exposure to the day-to-day operations of our endoscopy service. We work with the participants to ensure the program aligns to their specific interests, making it beneficial for their own healthcare setting,” Chris added.

Vivek Nigam, interim Chief Medical Officer, says that there is a need for further advance medical training in the Pacific region.

“The observership will allow healthcare workers to watch and learn from Epworth specialists and staff, learning that can be applied in their country,” he said.

We are also supporting an observership for a doctor from Tonga later this year, who will visit Epworth Geelong for two weeks and spend some time in our SIM Centre at Epworth Richmond.

“Epworth is committed to the development of medicine and it’s great to expand this commitment beyond Australian borders. Our support to the Pacific region will help increase expertise in these countries, Vivek added.

“There are a number of benefits in these partnerships around medical education with other countries and sharing our knowledge and expertise in areas where either of us may not have opportunity of exposure. While we share new technology and expertise with Pacific doctors and nurses, it is also good for Epworth specialists to visit these countries to learn from their experience and give back to the community.”

Dr Andrew Brett from Epworth Richmond and nurse Mandy Ber from Epworth Geelong Operating Theatres will travel to Samoa in September to conduct training in gastrointestinal endoscopy at the TTM hospital, as part of this bilateral training arrangement.

“They will assist the training of four doctors and 10 nurses as well as provide inpatient and outpatient consultation and advice where required,” Chris said.

“These countries have access to endoscopy equipment and echocardiography. However, much work and development needs support to be able to continue to provide these services. Providing training to healthcare is but one element of the support that is needed.”

This observership program is funded and supported by Epworth.