Doctors’ Health SA Ltd (DHSA) is a not-for-profit company established in 2010 to improve the health of the medical profession for the good of the community.
In 2006, a growing awareness amongst the profession of the problem of unwell doctors being unable to access timely medical care prompted the formation of a Steering Committee to investigate the problem and find solutions.
A subsequent state-wide survey of doctors in 2007 (n= 2600) revealed 45% without their own GP, high levels of self-treatment and self- investigation, multiple barriers to health care and the need for more training to help doctors treat their colleagues.
The survey sought and found a range of solutions to address these needs which included the preference for a doctors’ health program dedicated to the profession itself, a focus on prevention and check-ups, web-based health information, easier access to after-hours GP-based clinical services, longer consultations and a larger network of ‘doctor-friendly’ clinics for on-going GP care of doctors and students.
The Steering Committee consulted very widely over the next 2-3 years and oversaw the final proposal for the new state-wide doctors’ health program.
In 2010, as a result of support from medical leaders, the strength of the needs analysis and the final proposal and some residual funds from the dissolution of the Medical Board of SA, the SA Minister for Health, Hon John Hill, supported the allocation of these funds to establish and effect the program within a good governance framework.
DHSA Ltd, a company Limited by guarantee was formed with AMA(SA) and the Rural Doctors’ Workforce Agency as its inaugural members. A board of directors of Doctors’ Health SA, chaired by Dr Richard Hetzel, was appointed with a company Secretary.
The Medical Director and Business Manager were appointed in late 2010 and our new clinic and office premises were officially opened by the SA Minister for Health, John Hill in October 2011.
What we do
We offer clinical, education, training and phone advisory services exclusively to medical students and doctors.
We have delivered clinical services to over 600 doctors and students from our unique after-hours assessment clinic at 327 South Terrace, Adelaide since the 1st of May, 2012.
We focus on comprehensive after-hours check-ups as well as acute medical care, delivered by our team of experienced GPs. We emphasise the significant health benefits of having a GP in the community.
We coordinate and continue to build a state-wide network of experienced GPs in private practice who have undertaken additional training in treating doctors and students and from which doctors and students can access a GP for their ongoing primary care.
We deliver educational packages to medical and practice groups each year to raise awareness of the service and the need for all doctors to have their own personal doctor of choice.
We offer our confidential and anonymous 24-hour doctors’ advisory service for a doctor, student, colleague, employer or family member to discuss any issue of concern with one of our panel of experienced GPs.
We are innovating through grants in remote education and telemedicine consultations for rural GPs.
How we are funded
We receive funds from a number of sources including:
1. The Medical Board of Australia via a per capita allocation from annual registration fees.
2. SA Country PHN.
4. Rural Doctors; Workforce Agency in SA.
5. Other, including rent, clinical service fees and interest.