The Moe community has recently welcomed two additional GPs into the area a couple of months after restrictions were eased for the Latrobe Valley to hire overseas-trained doctors.
Living and working in country Victoria is not new to Dr Tasakena Safayat who came to Australia in 2008 from Bangladesh and has worked at three regional hospitals across the state.
In June this year, Dr Safayat joined a local clinic in Moe after her husband, also a doctor, was employed by Latrobe Regional Hospital.
Prior to joining the Central Gippsland Family Practice, the mother-of-two worked at three hospitals in Mildura, Portland and Swan Hill.
Another addition to the clinic is Dr Amaechi Ezeh, who comes from Nigeria and is making a comeback to the Valley after working at the LRH in 2009.
Dr Safayat said moving to a local clinic setting was a bit of a relief from the hectic schedule of the emergency department.
“Both are different settings but at least now I can have my water most of the time unlike when I was working at the emergency department,” she told The Express.
She said while she’s “pretty much booked up” most of the time, she finds working in a local clinic more relaxing and enjoys her interaction with patients.
Her family also enjoys living locally although they cannot “explore much” of the Latrobe Valley as they wished to since social restrictions were imposed due to coronavirus.
Dr Sayafat said living and working in the Valley offered many benefits like seeing nature while driving to work and the more relaxed workload,
compared to being city-bound, which allows her and her husband to continue their training.
“I would say shopping wise is good, you have everything here. We also have some of our friends here from the Bangladeshi community working in Latrobe Valley as doctors so we’re connected with them,” she said.
For Dr Ezeh, who is now an Australian citizen, working in a rural area affords him more opportunities for training and quality time with his family.
“I prefer to remain here in a regional area because it’s quieter. It gives you room to have time with family and do social activity so it creates a work-life balance,” the father-of-three said.
Prior to joining the Moe clinic, Dr Ezeh worked as an afterhours GP at Lynbrook for seven years.
“I just wanted to go back and have a taste of rural practice again,” he said.
Dr Ezeh and his family live near Berwick and he drives to the Valley every day for work.
He said improving infrastructure in the Latrobe Valley, including offering good schools and access to social and religious connections for doctors and their families, would make the area appealing to GPs.