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New Director of Medical Services for Blackall

Friday 28 February 2020


A new Director of Medical Services has been appointed at Blackall Hospital.

Dr Kieran Le Plastrier will replace Dr Vijay Akkineni who recently left the region to progress professional training requirements.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Executive Director of Medical Services Dr David Walker said he would like to welcome Dr Le Plastrier to the region.

“Dr Le Plastrier has extensive experience in several clinical fields, including surgery and general practice, as well as a special interest in mental health, with additional qualifications in psychiatry,’’ Dr Walker said.

“Among his previous roles, he developed an international award-winning education and support program for junior and senior doctors focussed on improving non-technical skills and attitudes in medical practice.

“He has presented at many national and international medical conferences and has a strong interest in how people make sense of suffering and how health systems and people organise themselves to alleviate suffering and promote health.

“He will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Central West and to the Blackall and Tambo communities.’’

Dr Le Plastrier said he had worked in regional Australia for the better part of five of the past eight years, including in Mackay and Clermont.

“I always wanted to work and live in the country as part of my professional practice,’’ he said.

“I think regional Australia offers the best of lifestyles for work-life balance.

“In addition, the challenge of a new hospital build and integrating the new hospital and the general practice ways of doing things was an opportunity I could not pass up.’’

Dr Le Plastrier said his priority as the new Director of Medical Services at Blackall was to understand and advocate for the priorities of the Blackall-Tambo region.

“Our hospital and general practice in Blackall play a vital role in the lives of local families near and far, and my job is to make the care we offer, whether primary care in the general practice or more specialised care in the hospital, the best it can be,’’ he said.

When off duty, Dr Le Plastrier said he enjoyed growing vegetables and flowering plants and was a keen baker whenever he could – with a love of French cuisine.

“I read widely, mostly in the non-fiction literature, and I am truly fascinated by the stars and our place among them,’’ he said.

“I have a passion for teaching and also enjoy general trivia about subjects offering little practical value in life!’’

Dr Le Plastrier joins four other new doctors whose appointments to Central West Health were announced earlier.

Dr Walker said the Central West was very much regarded as an attractive place for doctors to work, train, and get valuable experience in rural and remote medicine.

“Our medical model in the Central West is based on the idea of a group practice where all our permanent doctors are employed as Senior Medical Officers by the health service and released to work in GP practices when not at the hospitals,’’ he said.

“All our SMOs, most of whom have advanced skills in other areas of medicine apart from general practice, now work as part of a single Central West Health-wide medical pool servicing our hospitals, health centres and GP practices throughout the region.

“This allows them, as a team, to provide patients with a higher level of care.

“It also allows us to provide patient-centred clinical care that is delivered by appropriately skilled clinicians, in a timely fashion, as close to home as is safe.

“Just as importantly, having such a pool of senior and highly skilled doctors has given Central West Health the capacity to host, teach and supervise the next generation of young doctors, as we have been doing over the past several years.’’

ENDS

For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au

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Last updated: 9 March 2020