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Dr Islam brings neurology services to the region

07 October 2022

 

Dr Fari Islam always knew she wanted to work regionally and has committed to providing neurology services to Horsham and the Grampians region through Grampians Health – Horsham.

While she initially travelled to Horsham with her family for a holiday, Dr Islam has found working with her patients very rewarding.

“It’s an enormously satisfying workplace environment,” Dr Islam said.

“In my areas of interest, the vast majority of patients would have cognitive impairment, mobility problems or they can’t get a license because of a medical condition and they were making all these trips to Ballarat or Melbourne to access medical care before.

“Overwhelmingly, they’re just so happy to be able to access the healthcare they need locally. The gratefulness I get every day from my patients is so rewarding.”

Based out of Grampians Health’s Horsham campus, Dr Islam is running a Neurology Clinic and Cognitive, Dementia and Memory Service (CDAMS) Clinic, as well as a new telemedicine clinic for patients experiencing epilepsy and seizures.

“Because it’s a new telehealth clinic, we’re able to offer rapid access appointments for those with urgent needs, like a first seizure,” she says. “A lot of the first seizure patients we’re seeing are young people who rely on their license for work, so it’s wonderful to be able to offer that clinic and not have them wait long periods of time for those answers.

“I don’t believe that all disorders lend themselves to telehealth, but we’ve identified that epilepsy and seizures are good ones to tackle first. We also acknowledge that there’s a long waitlist for a number of these patients, so part of my role has been auditing this waitlist and balancing the needs of those who have been waiting a while with those who have more urgent requirements.”

Through Grampians Health, Dr Islam is also building relationships with Neurologists at Grampians Health – Ballarat, which includes professional training sessions and clinical support.

“My new position is really a direct benefit of the Grampians Health amalgamation, and at the outset I feel supported by the neurologists in Ballarat,” she explains. “I think COVID has made it more possible and more positive for people to move outside of metropolitan areas and think about rural and regional lifestyles, so it’s great to be able to help build health infrastructure for our growing community.”

Grampians Health is in the process of recruiting a neurologist to join the team early next year and will further develop specialist clinics based on an assessment of need throughout the region as we work towards a sustainable workforce model in neurology.