Dalyellup GP Andrew Kirke nominated for WA’s top country GP

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Dr Andrew Kirk
Camera IconDr Andrew Kirk Credit: South Western Times/Bunbury Hera

Dalyellup general practitioner Dr Andrew Kirke is one of three nominees for the WA Country Doctors’ GP of the year award.

Dr Kirke said it was an honour to be nominated for the award.

“I know there is a lot of GPs that work a lot harder than me,” he said.

“I’ve done a few different things, though — I’ve worked as a rural GP delivering babies in Bunbury as well as Kalgoorlie, but I’ve done a lot with teaching medical students and research.

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“More recently, I’ve been involved with the Rural Doctors Association highlighting problems with rural health on a State and national level.”

Dr Kirke has worked as a GP at Dayellup Family Medical Practice since moving to Bunbury nine years ago.

“I think the single most important thing we do is the face-to-face consultation with our patients,” he said.

“That’s where we help people, and that’s where the healing can happen.

“Despite all the technology and innovations, that human interaction remains the most important thing.”

The annual awards will be handed out next month, with 18 rural doctors receiving nomination across six categories.

WA Country Health Service chief executive Jeff Moffet congratulated the nominees for their outstanding commitment to improving healthcare across country communities.

“It’s an honour to recognise the great work of those who strive for excellence in all that they do,” Mr Moffet said.

“These awards celebrate the work of our rural doctors, who provide quality care to people living in regional WA.

“Despite the challenges that come with working across vast distances, each finalist excels in providing healthcare to the communities in which they live and work.”

The finalists were nominated by their colleagues, patients and community members for their contributions and commitment to rural medicine.

They were then selected by a panel of their colleagues and rural health sector experts.

“In rural health we know that it is much harder to access doctors,” Dr Kirke said.

“I think there is a huge job ahead of us as a community to address that and I’m really keen that we make use of our opportunities to try deliver better health to those rural communities.”

The awards will be presented on March 23 in Perth.

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