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Program providing pathways for East Timorese professionals

Mareeba Hospital's and Mareeba Rotary Club's Dr Margaret Purcell, Mareeba Rotary Club's Ida Portella, East Timor doctor Tince Frederica Jempaut and Mareeba Hospital's Director of Nursing and Midwifery Vickye Coffey.

THE Mareeba Hospital has welcomed East Timor doctor Tince Frederica Jempaut as part of Rotary International’s New Generations Service Exchange.

The exchange program was established to provide university students and professionals up to 30 years of age a customisable, short-term program where they can build their professional skills and gain international experience, explore a new culture, learn a new language and meet people with common interests.

Ms Jempaut, 26, has only been in Mareeba for less than a week of her scheduled two month stay, and noted how excited she is about the opportunity.

“This is a great chance for me to learn about how the medical system works over here as well as improve on my English,” she said.

“I have already noticed that there are a lot more patients with different medical problems compared to back home.

“So that means I can watch what the doctors do here, ask a lot of questions and that will help me better my skills.”

That greater diversity of medical knowledge is something Ms Jempaut looks forward to bringing back to her home country of East Timor, where she became a qualified general practitioner in 2015.

“I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was a child so that I could help people and make a difference in my community and country,” she said.

Ms Jempaut said she would like to thank Rotary and the East Timor Ministry of Health for working together and giving her this opportunity.

Mareeba Hospital doctor and Mareeba Rotary Club member Dr Margaret Purcell said this is the second year that this district has had people from East Timor come over as part of the New Generations Service Exchange program.

“Last year we had people who were mechanics and in hospitality, which we have again this year along with those in the field of medicine,” she said.

“As it relates to Rika (Ms Jempaut), the Mareeba Rotary Club accepted to take her on here at the Mareeba Hospital for an observational period as she’s obviously not registered to practice in Australia.

“The way we practice medicine is a lot different here, we work with a completely different demographic; however this will still allow her to learn a lot and update her own skills.

“Rika will also be participating in the teaching and training programs on offer here at the Mareeba Hospital which will be great.”

Dr Purcell said she would like to thank the staff at the Mareeba Hospital for including Ms Jempaut in activities and making her feel welcome.

“The bonus of this program is that it is also a cultural exchange, so the doctors and nurses here at the hospital are getting to know more about Rika and where she’s from,” she said.

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