A DOCTOR from Nepal has chosen Bass Coast Health as the first stop in his international quest to advance his medical career as a medical practitioner in Australia.

Dr Mukunda Gurung travelled from Kathmandu – the capital of Nepal – to join the ranks at Wonthaggi Hospital, where he has already served a four-week rotation in the emergency department and is now working on the acute ward. These supervised clinical attachments provide a pathway for his registration to practice in Australia.

Dr Gurung comes to Australia with four years’ experience as a doctor and most recently worked in an emergency department in Kathmandu.

“Right before I came to Australia, we were getting more poisoning cases like pesticides, whereas here it is more alcohol and drugs poisoning,” he said.

“Coming to Australia was about the medicine. Nepal is still a developing country in terms of economic development and medicine, and we have… a long way to get to where the developed countries have reached.

“I read medical literature from the developed world but I couldn’t apply it in Nepal. I wanted to go somewhere where I could read something and implement it.”

Australia was his choice of country and Bass Coast Health (BCH) his preferred workplace, given it was a rural health organisation providing extensive services in a diverse community – and in an ideal location by the coast and just two hours’ drive from Melbourne.

He has found Australians live more independently than in Nepal, where he said there is a stronger focus on extended family.

Nevertheless, he has found the Bass Coast community friendly and his new colleagues at BCH welcoming.

“I’m enjoying the older patient cohort of Bass Coast Health; 20 to 30 per cent of the population is [older] than 65 and so most of the patients are senior citizens and working with them is pretty nice,” he said.

While working in the BCH emergency department, Dr Gurung undertook a range of duties, from providing pain relief through to administering oxygen, working across morning, afternoon and night shifts.

Dr Gurung will serve the patients of BCH until January.