WHAT IS THE TEAM LIKE?
The team is really small at Broken hill hospital. Generally a GP with emergency experience in charge 8-6. Two RMOs during the day. Registrars cover the evening. Then senior Reg went overnight. Varying levels of support from senior staff.
Senior staff at the hospital are mostly regular locum doctors with a few permanents which actually provides good continuity of care. Registrars rotate from Concord and either love it or do their time and head home.
TELL US ABOUT THE SETUP OF THE HOSPITAL AND SUPPORT FOR A LOCUM DOCTOR IN Broken Hill?
The senior was unwell on our first day so we were put in charge of the department as soon as we arrived. Nurses are very good at supporting new staff as there is a high turnover of doctors. Small department so not too difficult to get to grips with.
Limited services. HDU managed by ED Reg with input from Medical and Anaesthetics Cons. Also ED Team provides all ward cover OOH. All specialities are FIFO 7 days 24 hours on. Contact consultants directly and they are generally helpful. Referrals tend to be to Royal Adelaide.
Patients come mostly from Adelaide to visit specialists. Urology visits from Sydney. While there are visiting ortho from Adelaide, more acute adult ortho patients are usually transferred to Dubbo or go via commercial flight (flights/accommodation can be claimed).
Patients who are very unwell rely on RFDS flights for transfer and may have to stay overnight in HDU before transfer due to logistics of flights/pilot hours. Sometimes the delay can result in poorer outcomes. Patients can be retrieved by a team from Adelaide or Sydney but often similar delays.
WHAT DOES THE TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION LOOK LIKE FOR A LOCUM DOCTOR IN Broken Hill?
Takes a few hours from Sydney as it goes via Dubbo. Shifts are generally 7 days – arrive Monday morning and start shift at midday so it feels like a long day.
Covid restrictions have limited flights so access is mostly from Adelaide and Sydney. Very long drive from anywhere to Broken Hill.
Tough to get a taxi from the airport. You can ring admin directly if you have problem. The accommodation is spacious and clean. The staff quarters are secure and comfortable with their own room and shared kitchen. No WiFi. A fleet car is easily available from the hospital.
ANY LOCAL’S INSIDE INFORMATION TO SHARE? BEST SWIMMING SPOTS? LOOKOUTS? BIKE OR WALK TRAILS?
YMCA has a fantastic gym, short drive from the hospital. They offer short term contracts. Great swimming pool in town perfect for cooling off on the many hot days.
You can access a staff car for up to 4 hours for shopping/eating out in town as the hospital is about 2km on edge of town. Need your own car or a hire car to go out of town to visit desert/tourist areas.
Sunsets are spectacular!
TOWN AMENITIES? SHOPS, COFFEE TIPS FOR A LOCUM DOCTOR IN Broken Hill?
You’ll find basic shops, good supermarkets, good cafes/restaurants. The Silly Goat is frequented by lots of hospital staff. This place has unexpectedly high quality food and coffee – hard to go anywhere else. Can drink at the Palace Hotel where the film “Priscilla queen of the desert” was filmed. It ’s worth a drive out to Silverton to watch sunset over the outback and have dinner and a drink at the traditional Silverton Hotel.
WOULD YOU GO BACK TO Broken Hill AS A LOCUM DOCTOR?
Yes. Generally nice department to work in. Can get a bit hairy at times and need to be able to work independently due to varying senior support. Overall enjoyable experience though.
Good safe accommodation if you don’t mind shared communal living spaces. Rural generalist work. Need to be a team player.
Read other locum locations on our blog