Seeing new possibility

SHARING: Visiting Indonesian anaesthetic registrars Regina Agustiantina and Retti Kartika want to take new pain management methods from Ballarat back to their huge East Java hospital. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric
SHARING: Visiting Indonesian anaesthetic registrars Regina Agustiantina and Retti Kartika want to take new pain management methods from Ballarat back to their huge East Java hospital. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

TALKING with patients, explaining procedures in simpler terms, is a tool Indonesian anaesthetic registrars Regina Agustiantina and Retti Kartika say they could use better.

The doctors are from Surabaya’s massive Dr Soetomo Hospital in East Java. While their work is principally the same, their methods are a little different. Drs Agustiantina and Kartika have spent the past month in Ballarat observing, working and taking lectures with our registrars.

How to better educate and explain their work to patients and patient families is what has stuck with them most.

"We’ve learned many more things about perioperative,” Dr Agustiantina said. “We find patients here are more co-operative by explaining thing.”

Both doctors said they also see the benefits in Ballarat of improved communication between departments and in being multi-disciplined.

Based at Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital, the doctors also attended a four-day Australian Society of Anaesthetists national conference in Darwin and visited St John of God Hospital Ballarat, the Ballarat day procedure unit, the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. At the Base Hospital, they worked in theatre, in the pain clinic and in the ECT room with the anaesthetic and intensive care departments.

Dr Agustiantina said there was lots of technology, in equipment and drugs, she had never used in Indonesia and was fascinated to learn more.

BHS has offered the program with Interplast, a Rotary sponsored organisation, to senior registrars from Dr Soetomo Hospital the past four years. The Interplast programs aim to develop surgical services in developing neighbouring nations and show what is possible in an improving and better-funded health system.

Dr Agustiantina said the Surabaya hospital opened its first pain clinic about three months ago, a clinic doctors to have completed the program in Ballarat have been working towards since they first learned about pain management here. They hope to add their new pain management and intervention learnings to the clinic.

Surabaya’s Dr Soetomo Hospital has 1449 beds and almost 50 theatres.