A STATE-of-the-art robot acquired by the region’s private hospital could put Tamworth in a stronger position to recruit the specialists the town is crying out for.
Tamara hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Darren Ninness said the community desperately needed an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist to come to town and believed the region’s new surgical robot could be a trump card for recruitment.
“I think it’s an important step forward, by putting this type of technology in, it’s at the top level of technology now, you can’t go any better,” Mr Ninness told The Leader.
“We need to get out there and try and recruit ENT specialists to come to the area.
“If they know we’ve got a robot here, and they’ve done the training, the chance of recruiting is probably a lot higher than it was six months ago.”
Mr Ninness said there was a massive gap for ENT services in the region and investing in technology could put rural communities on par with the major cities.
“The public and the private are crying out for ENT services here yet we can’t recruit because it has very hard to get surgeons out of the metropolitan areas,” he said.
“Having a robot here might just put us back on a level playing field, in terms of getting an ENT surgeon here, as a matter of fact we probably need two.”
The Da Vinci robot can perform keyhole operations with more accuracy and less recovery time, trained surgeons say.
Tamara has two urologists trained to use the Tamworth robot, Ramin Samali and Ian Smith, and Mr Ninness said there was a gynecologist and general surgeon also interested in training to use the machine.
“They’ll do training and they’ll use this robot to do their simulation training,” he said.
“That also means when we’re recruiting other surgeons in to address gaps here in the North West catchment that the robot will be here to strengthen the ability to recruit other surgeons in to the area.”