Evaluation of the University Departments of Rural Health Program and the Rural Clinical Schools Program

RCS Site Profile: The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia

Page last updated: 2009

Site Detail101

Name and address of main site

The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia
Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital
St Alban's Road
(PO Box 1654)
Kalgoorlie WA 6433

Collaborating universities

University of Notre Dame Australia

Number and location of additional sites (with office space and personnel)

9 additional sites
Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Derby, Esperance, Geraldton, Karratha, Narrogin and Port Hedland102

Start date

2002

Total staffing numbers

80

Student numbers

2007103

62 RCSWA students

2008

67 RCSWA students
(45 from UWA and 22 from Notre Dame)

Capital works and facilities as at July 2008

Albany

  • The office consists of a reception area, student library, lounge room, kitchen, bathroom, medical coordinator offices and a photocopy room equipped with photocopier, printers, shredder, scanner, and ADSL cabling in each room.
  • 1 large teaching room that can seat approximately 15, with video-conferencing, data projector, spare laptop, whiteboard and examination table.
  • Student accommodation: 2 large fully eqipped 4x2 and 5x2 homes, each located within a short walk, drive or cycle to the hospital. The houses are very homely and contain many modern conveniences such as entertaining area, big living areas, spa bath. Wireless and ADSL internet is available at the student homes.
  • An RCS car is available for student use.

Broome

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  • The Broome RCSWA Office is based within the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council (KAMSC) Offices, on the same block as Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service.
  • The RCWSA is part of the KAMSC Centre for Primary Health Care, Training, Education and Research (CAPTER) which includes GP registrar training. PGPPP junior doctor training (in partnership with Curtin University), pharmacy assistant training and a joint RCSWA/KAMSC research arm. RCSWA leases these facilities from KAMSC and most RCSWA staff are also employed by KAMSC.
  • Facilities consist of:
    • A teaching room that will accomodate up to 16 people comfortably with RCSWA video-conference facilities and wireless internet access. This room is also used for KAMSC related meetings.
    • Three offices (with sharing functions) houseing RCSWA and research staff.
    • One relatively small office shared by three 0.5 FTE medical coordinators, one slightly larger office for 3 administrative staff (0.8 FTE contributed by RCWSA of total CAPTER administrative FTE 2.3). One smaller office for RCSWA and project research staff.
  • Students accomodation is in 2 bedroom units in a block of 10 units owned by KAMSC that is close to the hospital (less than 5 minutes walk) and only 10 minutes walk from RCSWA offices. Three units were initially leased for 10 years by RCSWA and a fourth unit is rented without a long term lease. The PGPPP residents are also housed in the same block of units, as are other students (pharmacy students, visiting medical students, dental students) and two units usually house KAMSC staff.

Bunburry

  • The Bunbury RCSWA Office is located in the Medical Centre of St John of God Hospital, Bunbury. They sit within a co-located public and private hospital. The public hospital has 120 beds, a large ED department, 5 theatres and a HDU unit. St Johns has 102 beds with an oncology department, palliative care and 5 theatres.
  • The RCSWA office consists of a reception area, an office for the Professor, 5 desks, photocopier/scanner/fax, shredder, storage cupboards, and filing cabinets.
  • They have a large tutorial room with seating for 14, with a kitchenette. They also have video-conferencing equipment, a data projector, a whiteboard and a large library. All students have access via their laptops to wireless internet whilst in the office. There is some medical training models and equipment available.
  • Students are accomodated in 3 homes in a neighbouring suburb just a 10 minute bike ride away. Each home, with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, are very comfortable and modern and have wireless internet connection.
  • A RCSWA vehicle is available for school use.

Derby

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  • The Derby RCSWA Office is located at Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS). The office is equipped with a computer used by the administration officer and also contains filing cabinets, storage cupboards, printer and scanner.
  • There is a large conference room at DAHS which is utilised for tutorials and video conferences. it is equipped with video-conferencing equipment and wireless internet access is available. A projector and whiteboard are also available. The conference room is also used for educational meetings arranged for students and doctors in Derby.
  • The 3 students in Derby are accomodated in a 4 bedroom house. The student library is located at the house which also has wireless internet access.
  • A RCSWA 4WD vehicle is available for school use.

Esperance

  • The Esperance Rural Clinical School is located in the main street of town, in a building shared with Goldfields Credit Union. We provide wireless internet connection throughout, tele/video-conference facilities, reference library and a full range of equipment including photocopier, printer, scanner, laminator and binder, for the students' use. There is a kitchenette, lounge area and two large study rooms, as well as a medical coordinator's office and reception area.
  • The student accomodation is a fully furnished 3 bedroom house located a few minutes walk from the hospital, town centre and shopping. The house is fitted with a monitored security system and wireless internet connection throughout.

Geraldton

  • Three self contained houses which accomodate 10 students, each of which are fully equipped including broadband internet service.
  • The students have on line connection to the UWA library and access to a number of core text books on site.
  • The students have use of a computer lab and rest rooms, and a study area at the Combined University Building in Geraldton.

Kalgoorlie

  • Purpose built office library and study complex completed January 2007. This includes 6 offices for academic staff, 2 offices for administrative staff, a reception area, research offices for the renal research projects, a library with video-conference facilities, conference room, skills laboratory, lecture theatre designed to hold more than 60 people (and which can be partitioned for smaller audiences), and wireless internet access throughout building.
  • Accomodation: 3 student houses of 3 to 4 bedrooms, each capable of accomodating 10 students.

Karratha

  • Karratha is one of the two large population centres in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, providing medical services to approximately 15,000 people. The office is based near the centre of the town and comprises a reception area, tutorial room, 2 coordinator offices and a skills lab.
  • The office has broadband internet, a library containing a range of textbooks relevant to the undergraduate clinical years and a full range of office equipment including photocopier and fax.
  • The tutorial room has room for 8 to 10 people and includes video-conferencing equipment.
  • The skills lab is a new development and is based around a medium-fidelity patient simulator, the Laerdal ALS mannequin. There are also lower-fidelity mannequins for pediatric and obstetric training.
  • Accomodation consists of two 4 bedroom houses owned by the Univeristy.

Narrogin

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  • RCSWA Narrogin teaching and administrative centre contains:
    • reception/administrator's workstation/boardroom
    • 2 offices for 3 medical co-ordinators
    • library/study area
    • lecture/tutorial lab
    • skills equipment storeroom, stationery/file storeroom
    • recreation/canteen area, kitchen/ablutions
    • locked garage for RCSWA vehicle(s).
  • The centre contains the following equipment:
    • video-conferencing equipment
    • photocopier/printer/fax/scanner machine
    • desktop computers (2), laptop (1 spare)
    • data projector, DVD player, whiteboards
    • x-ray viewing box
    • skeleton and other medical training models
    • broadband is available (either through network points or via wireless) at both the centre and at the student residence and all medical coordinators and students have laptops.
  • The RCSWA Narrogin has 1 single-story student residence set in landscaped gardens and located immediately behind the hospital. It is capable of comfortably accomodating 4 single students. All students are provided with bicycles.
  • The RCSWA Narrogin currently maintains 1 car which is managed as a pool vehicle and used by both staff and students as the need arises.

Port Hedland

  • Port Hedland is the regional referral centre for the Pilbara. It services a population of approximately 15,000 people in the towns of Port Hedland and South Hedland.
  • The RCSWA is located centrally in the town of Port Hedland. It contains a reception area, 2 medical coordinator offices, 3 work stations and a large tutorial room with seating for 12 people.
  • The office contains a colour photocopier, fax machine, shredder, laminator and other assorted office equipment. There are 2 desktop computers located in the office and wireless broadband is available for the students.
  • There is a library containing a range of textbooks and journals.
  • Video-conferencing equipment is located in the tutorial room. This room is also used as a skills lab utilising equipment shared with the other Pilbara site, Karratha.

UWA campus, Perth

  • The urban site in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences has 4 dedicated offices, 3 open-plan desk spaces, and 1 tutorial/video-conferencing room. It has additional access to a large conference room and a further office for video-conferencing/meetings, and the FJ Clark Lecture Complex in the Faculty.
  • The urban office regularly books video-conference suites at Royal Perth Hospital, Fremantle Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, and Western Australian Country Health Services.

Site training capacity

Albany

2007

8

2008

10Top of page
  • Albany and the Great Southern region has a combined population of 32,000 and is serviced by 32 GPs and 9 general practices.
  • Albany Regional Hospital has 135 beds and 6 wards. Many specialists visit Albany frequently throughout the year providing a comprehensive service.
  • Community services at present in Albany include Aboriginal health services, Community Drug Services Team, population health and Silver Chain.
  • Private diagnostic facilities include Western Diagnostic Pathology
  • There are 10 Rural Clinical School students situated in Albany in 2008, and all are encouraged to become involved in the local community in any way they can.

Broome

2007

8

2008

8
  • Hospital (around 50% of clinical time
  • Broome regional AMS in Broome (about 30% of clinical time)
  • 3 remote clinics run by KAMSC (Bidyadanga 4 students visit once a fortnight, Beagle Bay 2 students visit once a fortnight, and Balgo 2 students visit for one week in five): about 10% of clinical time
  • 1 general practice: about 10% of clinical time104

Bunbury

2007

10

2008

10
  • Bunbury has a population of approx 55,000 people and services a regional population of approx 130,000
  • There are 55 GPs from 13 general practices and 50 specialists based in Bunbury and 15 visiting specialists
  • There is an Aboriginal health service available for the local population

Derby

2007

3

2008

3Top of page
  • There is 1 public hospital in Derby; the regional obstetric and paediatric services are located here and there is a paediatric inpatient facility that receives referrals from other areas of the Kimberley. The hospital also provides primary care services and services several remote Aboriginal communities. Most of the DMOs are proceduralists with anaesthetic or obstetric skills.
  • Derby Aboriginal Health Service is a large Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service providing primary care to the local population. 8 remote communities are sericed by DAHS doctors by air or road. RFDS doctors provide 5 clinical sessions a week for DAHS and are also involved with teaching RCSWA students.
  • Derby is serviced by a variety of visiting specialists and students also have the opportunity to accompany specialists on visits to other communities in the Kimberley.
  • The students are encouraged to participate in community activities and become an integral part of the medical community during their time in Derby.

Esperance

2007

3

2008

4
  • Esperance District Hospital is a GP run 41 bed hospital comprising accident and emergency, medical, children's maternity, radiology and pathology departments. Allied health services such as speech pathology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and audiology are also available at the hospital.
  • There are 4 surgeries in Esperance with a total of 11 general practitioners, some of whom are trained in obstetrics and/or anaesthesia. Esperance has a community health and development centre and a community mental health team.
  • There are no resident specialists in Esperance but we have regular clinics by visiting specialists in general surgery, gynaecology, paediatrics, gastroenterology, opthalmology and orthopaedics.

Geraldton

2007

10

2008

10
  • There are 2 hospitals; 1 private (St John of God) with 40 beds and 1 regional public hospital with 60 beds. The town has many visiting specialists that cover almost all of the fields of medicine and surgery.
  • In addition to the secondary care facilities, Geraldton has 5 major group general practices and a number of single handed practices.
  • The town also has an AMS
  • In addition to the local experience, students also visit outlying towns and hamlets. Two students each month spend 4 weeks in Carnarvon a coastal town 500km to the north.
  • The students are fully integrated to all levels of patient care and are actively encouraged to get involved in social events in the community.

Kalgoorlie

2007

10

2008

10Top of page
  • Kalgoorlie is a regional centre for the Goldfields and has a 62 bed hospital which provides a comprehensive range of services including obstetrics emergency, paediatrics, rehabilitation and palliative care general medicine surgery and oncology. There are 5 private GP clinics and 1 Aboriginal medical service in town. There is an RFFDS base at the airport and a number of community health services including population health and an active GP Network. There are allied health services such as podiatry physiotherapy and counselling and psychiatric services both within and outside the hospital.
  • Students have access to most of these facilities and can follow patients through whatever care resources they access. Two GP practices and the AMS regularly provide education for students. Within the hospital education is done regularly by the paediatricians, the physicians and the obstetrician, in addition to teaching done by midwives and nursing staff.

Karratha

2007

3

2008

3
  • In addition to teaching provided in the RCSWA office, students spend time in the Nickol Bay Hospital, the Mawarnkarra Aboriginal Medical Service and the Karratha Medical Centre for clinical training. There are also shorter rotations and attachments organised with a number of other community health practitioners including allied health services.
  • Some rotations between Karratha and Port Hedland occurs to maximise clinical experience and some teaching sessions are held to combining the 2 Pilbara sites. This is achieved either by 1 group travelling to the other town or by video-conference linkup.

Narrogin

2007

3

2008

4Top of page
  • The RCSWA Narrogin is able to train 4 students in any one year. All staff members are currently employed on a part-time basis and consist of 1 administrative officer and 3 medical coordinators. Other medical professionals are sourced to provide additional teaching in their fields of speciality.
  • Narrogin is a regional centre providing medical services to some 12,000 - 13,000 residents from the surrounding rural area.
  • The Narrogin Hospital is the hub for the Southern Wheatbelt, providing 24/7 acute services and support to 6 smaller district hospitals and 3 health centres. Its facilities include an emergency department, RFDS and emergency helicopter retrievals, theatre/day surgery, maternity and general wards, palliative care/cancer support, primary health services (see below) and ancillary services, including a pharmacy, pathology laboratory and medical imaging.
  • Narrogin also has a community mental health centre, 2 general practices (10 full-time GPs at full strength) and a schedule of regular visits from specialists of most disciplines.
  • Allied health professionals based in Narrogin include Aboriginal health workers, aged care assessment nurses, asthma educators, community nurses, dieticians, health promotion officers, physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists.
  • Narrogin has a cottage sytle development of 49 self-contained units for able retired, a 35 bed hostel for frail aged and a 50 bed high care nursing home.
  • Training is delivered to students through attendance at the hospital, both general practices, primary and mental health centres, sitting in with specialists during their consultations, face-to-face lectures and tutorials, video-conference lectures, workshop and seminars.

Port Hedland

2007

4

2008

5
  • Apart from teaching occurring in the RCSWA office, the students are rotated to the Port Hedland Regional Hospital, the Wirrakamaya Aboriginal Medical Service, 2 private general practices, the RFDS and the community health centre.

Main areas of research interest

  • Aboriginal health
  • Workforce capacity research
  • Diabetes

101Data and information provided by the RCS, as at August 2008, unless otherwise specified.
102Busselton and Carnarvon will be established for 2009
103Data sourced from 2007 annual report
104There was a second general practice but it has closed its doors