The Temora community has launched an innovative campaign to attract new doctors to the town.
It is hoped the quest will take the search for a doctor as far as Britain and South Africa.
The campaign has been launched not long after the retirement of GP Mangalore Kamath, who practiced in Temora for 43 years.
Rachel Christmas, who is also a GP in Temora, said the idea of the Great Quack Quest came from the need for a campaign that stood out as something different.
“A lot of rural towns need more doctors,” Dr Christmas said.
“We wanted to do something positive. Temora is quite a go-ahead place and we have a really positive council.”
Dr Christmas said Temora currently had five GPs, one in private practice and the rest attached to the town’s medical centre, but further retirements could be on the cards in the near future, so the bid to recruit new doctors has begun.
It’s a safe community. It’s a good place to raise a family.Rachel Christmas, Temora GP
One of the aims of the project is to dispel any outdated myths about what it was like to be a GP in the country, although this was not necessary in Dr Christmas’s case.
“I grew up in Temora. My family have been farming here for 120 years,” she said.
“I moved away for 20 years, but have now moved back with my husband Rohan and our three children.
“It’s a safe community. It’s a good place to raise a family.”
Craig Sinclair, Temora Shire Council’s economic development manager, said the town had good health facilities, and there was a great spirit of co-operation between the council, health professionals and the community.
He said in addition to the medical centre, the council had built a facility where same-day medical imaging services could be provided and also offered unit-style accommodation for visiting health specialists and medical students.
After a plan to shut down an operating theatre at the Temora hospital was announced last year, the community mounted a fierce campaign and succeeded in not only have the decision reversed, but also won a commitment for $2.3 million in renovations, which are now largely complete.
“We really pulled out all the stops on that one,” Dr Christmas said.
“We weren’t going to roll over.”