New doctors arrive to take up 5-month stints

The East Otago Health practice has attracted two new doctors and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for a new health centre in Palmerston.

Two Scottish doctors have taken up five-month appointments at East Otago Health in Palmerston and Waikouaiti.

They bring to five the number of Scottish-trained doctors who have recently come to East Otago to undertake their post-training general practice.

Dr Colm Sheehan and Dr Keri Malone started working at the practice late last month as part of the Scottish ''Rural Track'' programme, which allows doctors to work in rural areas as part of their postgraduate qualifications.

Two other Scottish doctors, Dr Chris Mulholland and Dr Kate Dixon, came from Aberdeen in September last year and practised at East Otago Health for six months before returning to Scotland to complete their postgraduate qualifications.

Dr Catherine Brown, from Inverness, spent six months at East Otago Health earlier this year.

Drs Sheehan and Malone will return to Scotland after five months to complete their registrar's training.

The East Otago Health Trust is more a third of the way to meeting its $1million target for building a new health centre in Palmerston.

So far $380,000 has been raised for the centre, which is to be built on the health centre site in District Rd.

East Otago Health Trust president Mary O'Connell said it was hoped fundraising could be completed within a year.

The construction of the new health centre was expected to take another year.

A helicopter landing pad would be built on the site after the new building was completed.

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