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Providing outreach services in country Victoria

Dr David Tickell shares his passionate journey in rural health and how much he enjoys delivering thorough Outreach services to communities in country Victoria!


David has been in the Ballarat region for the last thirteen years and also the director of Paediatrics Ballarat for over eight years. He runs separate immigrant health clinics in Ballarat, as well as a senior lecturer at Deakin and Melbourne Universities. Part of his work provides some outreach paediatric services to communities within the Grampians region health and Ballarat. He continues to use The Rural Health Outreach Fund (RHOF) administered by RWAV to support health professionals by covering the basic costs of travel, accommodation, meals and other associated expenditure.

After travelling for many years, David and his wife decided to give something back to the community and made their first move by taking twelve months of work in a rural town called Malawi! It was an eye-opening experience, completely different set up than anything in Ballarat and probably anything in Australia.


“I think the work in a regional centre allows for a much greater diversity of patient presentations and care. So in the country, we don’t have subspecialists who will see all of the varying diseases we have to handle all of them, so we are a jack of all trades, masters of none, but it certainly keeps our work a lot more interesting,” said Dr David.


David has a huge respect to the country work, setting up different challenges allows him to motivate and remain interested in the work. He delivers two-week outreach paediatric services to Stawell, Horsham and Ararat every month, to provide adequate health care to more rural and remote communities located in a reasonably large proportion of Victoria.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, he has adapted telehealth, but missed the face to face interaction. Hear a piece of advice from Dr David, for practitioners and health professionals who are transitioning their consultation to telehealth and also in providing outreach services.


 “I think with the advent of telehealth and the realisation that it is achievable, which has been forced upon us by COVID, there now exists the opportunity to provide these services through a mixture of face to face and telehealth. So even if the physical outreach only occurs periodically, it can then be supplemented with telehealth in a reasonably robust manner that still does not compromise health care”.


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