People in Profile: Dr Tom Gleeson
PROFESSION: Senior Medical Officer (Rural Generalist)
QUALIFICATIONS: BSc, MBBS, DRANZCOG, JCCA, FRACGP, FARGP
LOCATION: St George, Queensland
YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:
I have worked in rural medicine in St George for the last 8 years. This has included both general practice and hospital based proceduralist medicine. Prior to arriving in St George I had worked in Townsville and the Gold Coast obtaining qualifications in both anaesthetics and obstetrics respectively. Recently I have trained in endoscopy in order to be able to provide an endoscopy service to South West Queensland. I have also been heavily involved with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and I'm currently on the Queensland faculty board and a number of other college committees.
ABOUT YOUR ROLE ON THE CLINICAL COUNCIL:
I think the Clinical Council has an important role to play within the WQPHN in identifying and prioritising the health needs of local communities. Given the vast geographical area that the PHN covers, this will be a challenging task. I think we have a great diversity of representation within the Clinical Council and this will enable us to fulfill the required demands. I'd like to see the people of Western Queensland have better health outcomes and being a part of the WQPHN Clinical Council will allow me to contribute to this goal.
YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE HEALTH ARENA:
Since graduating as a Doctor I have been heavily involved in many aspects of the health arena. More recently I have become involved with rural health; mainly because of the disadvantage that rural patients face. Life expectancy for people living in rural areas is significantly lower than those in cities and this discrepancy is becoming a national crisis. It is only by being involved that we can hope to rectify this problem.
WHAT YOU FEEL ARE KEY ELEMENTS TO BETTER HEALTH OUTCOMES:
I think the biggest element to better health outcomes is access to services. It is common knowledge that rural patients have poorer health outcomes and this can be directly related to access to health services. In Western Queensland we have a large area with low population density which can make it very difficult for patients to access services that our metropolitan friends take for granted. If we can make in impact in this area I think we will see better health for our residents.