Wednesday evenings 6.00 for 6.30pm at Roseville Memorial Club
The Rotary Club of Chatswood is proud to announce its newest International Project which is to fund a scholarship to give a selected neurosurgical graduate from Indonesia the opportunity to undertake a six month training attachment in Australia to gain knowledge, skills and networks aimed at improving neurosurgical health services in Indonesia. The scholarship is to be administered jointly by the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia and The Rotary Club of Chatswood Inc.
President of Chatswood Rotary 2010-11, Mr Peter Timmermann, said, "This project embodies the very essence of Rotary which provides a vehicle whereby one person’s idea can be combined with the vocational skills and resources of others to make a real difference. Yet another example of The Rotary Club of Chatswood working with others to Build Better Communities".
Hospitals in Indonesia often lack the facilities that are available in developed countries. An example is the Dr Hasan Sadikin Hospital, a university hospital in Bandung with over 1,000 beds which is old and rundown, except for a well equipped emergency department, operating suite and intensive care, the result of Japanese funding in the 1990’s. The neurosurgical department has nominally 60 beds, but often many more patients. There are five consultant staff and usually 42 residents in training for the 60+ patients. The contrast to Australia is marked - at Westmead Hospital there are the equivalent of four fulltime staff and four registrars for about half the number of patients The large numbers of trainees relative to the number of patients means that the opportunity for gaining real experience is very limited. Often there are 30-40 young doctors crowded around a single X-ray viewing box or 3-4 doctors scrubbed for an operation while several others crowd around trying to see what is being done. Importantly, the rehabilitation specialty lags behind other countries, and there is still a widespread tendency to leave postoperative and post injury patients in bed without any proper mobilisation or rehabilitation. Much of the young consultant’s experience is therefore gained after graduation, with on the job practice being an essential part. Neurosurgery is a relatively young specialty in Indonesia, with little activity before the 1950’s. There is now an organised programme for neurosurgeons, who undertake a course at one of three training centres on Java, one in the capital and largest city, Jakarta, one in Bandung, the capital of the province of West Java, and the third in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city and the capital of East Java. Trainees graduate in Medicine followed by a six year training programme with two years in general surgery and four in neurosurgery. They then sit a licence exam and present a thesis.
Indonesia includes more than 17,000 islands and extends over 5,000km from Asia into the Pacific Ocean. There are over 240 million inhabitants and 580 languages and dialects. Four years ago there was 1 neurosurgeon per 2.7 million inhabitants of Indonesia compared with 1 neurosurgeon per 170,000 inhabitants in the developed world. This scholarship has been discussed with the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia whose executive has enthusiastically agreed with the initiative and has drawn up an official Policy Statement for the project which outlines the selection process and sets financial management guidelines. The neurosurgical department at Westmead Hospital has agreed to accept the first scholar and the President of the Indonesian Neurosurgical Society, Dr Widi, is aware of the proposal and has expressed his agreement with the concept. It is intended that the scholarship will give the successful applicant the chance for observation and further training with a much more satisfactory staff to patient ratio and also, where suitable, the opportunity for some sub-speciality training. Most importantly there will be exposure to the neurosurgical management which is so important to the ultimate recovery of the patient - physiotherapy with early mobilisation and other paramedical therapies are considered these days to be an essential part of postoperative treatment.
Last week Dr Nick Dorsch, formerly head of neurosurgery at Westmead Hospital and the architect of the proposed training scheme, provided us with a snapshot this initiative.
Our condolences and our thanks to Bruce Carfrae, his family and friends who have contributed to the Yvonne Carfrae Memorial Fund. Several thousand dollars have already been raised and this money will be used exclusively for this project.
The photo shows (from left to right) Mr Bruce Carfrae, Dr Nick Dorsch and Professor Tony Basten.
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Donations to this scholarship may be made in through The Rotary Club of Chatswood Benevolent Account which is an Australian Tax Deductible Gift Recipient. A receipt will be sent to you. See our Donations page for more information.