The main townships of the Tablelands, Atherton and Mareeba, have District Hospitals which service and maintain outreach clinics to outlying areas. There are over 14 private General Practice (GP) clinics, three Aboriginal Medical Services and two specialists permanently on the Tablelands.
James Cook University has an education facility for the School of Medicine and Dentistry based in Atherton known as ‘The Whitehouse’. This facility supports and coordinates medical students and registrars in the GP Training Program during their placement on the Tablelands. The building is equipped with an updated lecture room facility, videoconference equipment, state of the art computers, ADSL Broadband access, library and clinical skills equipment.
Education support is a priority of the medical and health professional staff on the Tablelands and all students, interns, registrars are welcomed, encouraged and mentored by the resident medical staff living in the area. With the help of the Tablelands Regional Council there is student accommodation in Atherton and Mareeba just minutes from the District Hospitals and GP clinics. Both student accommodation houses are fully self-contained with students only needing to supply their own linen and any special ‘comforts’ they cannot do without. All elective placements on the Tablelands should be arranged through the Rural Coordinator in Atherton.
The region is regarded by many as one of the North’s best kept secrets in tourism terms, but is widely becoming regarded as a popular and successful educational training region, where education and capacity building is seen as a priority for the community and the up and coming rural doctors of the future.