A Goulburn doctor is taking to the skies to work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Dr Isabella Hawke will spend three weeks in December providing medical care to isolated communities. Based out of Broken Hill the doctor will fly to remote locations to provide outreach GP clinics in the bush.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) provides health care and a 24-hour emergency service to people over an area of 7.69 million square kilometres. Using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology, the RFDS works to provide emergency medical and primary health care services to anyone who lives, works or travels in rural and remote Australia
Dr Hawke said the organisation was particularly interested in her expertise in women's health and baby health.
"They wanted an experienced doctor and I felt an obligation to use my skills to help out," she said.
"Australia is pretty unique, it's a huge geographic area and very sparse.
"It is very difficult for remote areas to access health services."
The Goulburn born and bred GP said most people "take it for granted" that they can call and make an appointment with a doctor within a few days.
She said the opportunity to work with the RFDS now and possibly in the future was "fantastic".
"I feel proud that I can contribute and help out".
COVID-19 has put added strain on the already stretched health system in remote communities. Dr Hawke said it was possible she would transport vaccinations in an esky to help with the roll out.
In addition to assisting with care in the bush, Dr Hawke also has a connection with Broken Hill. Her son and daughter-in-law, a senior constable and a nurse, are both based in the former frontier town.
The doctor plans to make regular trips to help out with remote health services and see her family.
In addition, Dr Hawke is a senior lecturer at the ANU Rural Medical School and hopes her work with remote communities will inspire and educate the next generation of medical professionals.
Dr Hawke will return to Goulburn Medical Clinic from January 3, 2021.
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