Dr Reyno (left) and Dr Scholtz (right) are finally hanging their stethoscopes up and moving on after many years in Moranbah. Our Roving Reporter Tony Batchelor caught up both doctors to reminisce on their time.
“My name is Doctor Scholtz. Henriette and I with two boys aged 9 and 11 years old arrived in Moranbah on 10 November 1997. I found that hospital work plus a busy private practice was very challenging but satisfying. Back then the old surgery was located next to my house and was very inadequate, Dr Greg Cruikshank sold his interest in the medical centre to us, which we developed and expanded to what it is today. When Dr Reyno joined us it made life a lot easier at the hospital not having to be on call 24/7. The most enduring memories I will take with me is the wonderful supportive relationship I had with all the staff at the Moranbah Hospital. The main highlights is still being in town to see students graduate from high school that we delivered. The most particularly satisfying thing that stays in my mind was delivering, resuscitating twins at 28 weeks and seeing them grow up in town as healthy kids. My fondest memory is the great relationship with the staff at Moranbah Hospital and their unfailing support over the last 20 years. It’s good to see the hospital campus develop over the years to keep up with the community’s needs and expectations. It is also practically satisfying to know the hospital has fulfilled the role it is intended to.”
“My name is Dr Reyno. I was born in a small, rural town in South Africa with my father who was one of those classic, all-rounder country doctors. I hot footed it out of there shortly after graduating and found my way to the big smoke where I spent the first 20+ years of my career practising in a very busy suburban general practice clinic with all the mod cons, specialist referral and allied health supports a mere stone’s throw away. In 2002 a decision to seek a change and challenge in my career resulted in my moving to Clermont to take up the Med Super with the right of a private practice role – a far cry from the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. My career trajectory changed and I embarked on a steep learning curve to polish up the rusty emergency skills. Right from the start of our time in Clermont, my family and were supported and warmly welcomed by the community. I felt very connected to the community and thankful for the support and encouragement from long-time staff in Clermont Hospital and private practice. Clermont will always hold a special place for me as various key personal and career milestones occurred during my time there including the birth of our son, achieving my FRACGP (who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?) and securing an Australian permanent residency. The Clermont Hospital was an unexpected highlight as one would never encounter such a modern, well designed facility in so remote place like South Africa. It was a fantastic workplace – filled with natural light, colour, great equipment and wonderful staff. There are many memories of the various characters I encountered during my time there. Having a patient ride a horse to see you was novel for sure, as was being called out to see a patient who was injured by a “beast”. Not knowing what to expect as I scurried over to ED while my scanty knowledge of Australian outback animals, it was a huge relief to find out the person had merely had an unpleasant encounter with some cattle. Other highlights were the eventual construction of the new Clermont Surgery after much lobbying and motivation. The helipad adjacent to the hospital at Clermont was another highlight, although bittersweet as the first retrieval took place on the day after I moved to Moranbah. Improvements over the years which really impacted positively on patient care and safety include the easier integration of patient records across the public and private environments; the live support received in the ED through tele health video link up. Overall improvements in digital technologies and communication brought benefits to us in the bush in the management of serious acute conditions in the ED settings where images and X-rays can be easily shared with specialists when managing critical situations. In 2008 I moved to Moranbah and the benefits of being in a town with more service infrastructure and a larger medical fraternity, and less on call work was really beneficial to our family and my work life balance. Of course, my professional memories and highlights would not be completed without mentioning the world class support we country doctors rely on from the CQ Rescue teams who are really the lifeline to medical staff and patients alike when things go wrong. Without the sterling service provided by the retrieval teams, the experience of working in the bush would be significantly more stressful. Last but certainly not at least, I must acknowledge the dedicated staff in the Clermont and Moranbah Hospitals who often go above and beyond to support doctors and patients. Their knowledge, local insights, dedication and commitment to their communities are the qualities I will remember the most. Always stoic, going the extra mile and working together, I have been grateful to have these professionals working by my side. While I look forward to enjoying the creature comforts of the “big smoke” of Mackay, I will certainly miss my patients and work in Moranbah. Working in the Hinterland made me “grow up” as a doctor and I will feel forever fortunate to have experienced these 18 years.”