Final year chiropractic students from Murdoch University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) will be providing free health care in remote Aboriginal communities and a mine site in northern Western Australia in August.
The 16 students and five supervisors will be heading in separate groups to Carnarvon, Kununurra, Meekathara and Tom Price to run the free clinics, which start on Monday, August 6.
“The School has developed a good relationship with several Aboriginal medical clinics in the north of the state and over the years the students have been able to help hundreds of people who would not otherwise be able to access chiropractic care,” he said.
“The clinics help to develop the students as health professionals also. They are exposed to working in rural and remote settings and also to often dealing with more severe muscle and bone problems that they do not see as frequently in the Murdoch University clinic.”
Dr Walker said the students will be treating muscle and joint problems, particularly of the spine, and they will also treat headaches if they emanate from the neck.
“One of the purposes of the trip is to help students build long-term relationships with local Aboriginal communities in the hope of delivering ongoing care,” added Dr Walker. “This has occurred in several of the locations already with graduates returning to Geraldton, Kununurra, Tom Price and Newman.
“The feedback from patients has been overwhelming with frequent requests to come back more often.”
Murdoch student Andrew Jackman, 27, who lives in Munster, said spending time at the Meekathara clinic would be an invaluable learning experience.
“I’m hoping it will help challenge and improve my clinical knowledge as well as giving me the opportunity to interact with people from different walks of life,” he said.
“I am originally from Melbourne so this is a good opportunity to experience rural Australia and learn about the challenges of delivering equal access to health care.”
A group of students will also be treating miners from mine sites in and around Tom Price.
All the Murdoch students participating in the clinics have worked within the Chiropractic Clinic, offering care to the public, at the University’s South Street Campus.
Those interested in receiving treatment should contact their local clinic:
Carnarvon – August 6-10, contact Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation, Tel: 9144 2499
Kununurra – August 13-17, contact Kylie Newman, Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service, Tel: 9168 1288 ext 231
Meekathara – August 6-10, contact Doris Lyon, Meekatharra Hospital, Tel: 9981 0671
Tom Price – August 6-12, sessions will be conducted in temporary tent clinic in the Bird Park (next to the Tourist Centre). Contact Bruce Walker: 0419 714100.