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New doctors for Mt Isa

31st January 2018

Three new doctors will soon arrive in the Mt Isa and Cloncurry region via a James Cook University program training general practitioners across north western Queensland.

Dr Seik Yao Chong, Dr Chandrika Pazhanivel and Dr Muhammad Rashid are part of a cohort of more than 130 doctors state-wide who are embarking on GP training through the Generalist Medical Training (GMT) program.

The doctors are taking on new roles with Gidgee Healing, the Mt Isa Medical Centre, the Cloncurry Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre.

Dr Muhammad Rashid has moved to Mt Isa with his wife and one-year-old son. He says he chose to practice in remote Queensland because it provides the opportunity to experience a great diversity of practice and to be part of the community.

Dr Chandrika Pazhanivel will be based at Gidgee Healing, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Mt Isa.

“I am looking forward to meeting my new colleagues and patients,” she said.

Dr Seik Yao Chong—who his patient’s and colleagues affectionately call “Chongsy”—will be working across the Cloncurry Hospital and the Flinders Medical Centre Cloncurry.

GMT Director, Associate Professor Peta-Ann Teague said the new training GPs will help to fill workforce gaps in many parts of Queensland.

“JCU has coordinated the placement of new doctors from Thursday Island to Tewantin, Mount Isa to Maroochydore, and Cairns to Cloncurry,” Associate Professor Teague said.

"We dedicate time and resources to matching applicants with training posts that will benefit their careers as well as the community. The training posts in our region provide the opportunity to develop an extended scope of practice that goes beyond urban, office-based general practice," she said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing these enthusiastic doctors make a real difference in their communities, particularly those communities who most need them. JCU has a strong record of producing a skilled workforce for northern Australia and this new cohort of GPs will add to that legacy."

GMT is JCU’s specialist training program for medical graduates pursuing a career in General Practice. JCU is contracted by the Australian Department of Health to deliver the AGPT program in North Western Queensland. For more information about Generalist Medical Training visit


Captions: Left to right: Dr Muhammad Rashid, Dr Seik Yao Chong and Dr Chandrika Pazhanivel are looking forward to starting their new roles in Mt Isa and Cloncurry.

Further information: Carlie Sage - JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry / 0435 796 480 or Tianna Graham / 0428 442 633.

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