New doctor comes to Maclean

GOOD news for Maclean - and the rest of the Valley - as a new doctor is welcomed to the region.

Dr Alexander Bennett will join Clarence Medical Centre in Maclean this week, helping to decrease the pressure on Lower Clarence health services.

Dr Bennett graduated from medical school in 1985 and now has more qualifications than can fit in this story.

He is a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland School of Medicine, and his special interests include skin cancer medicine and emergency medicine.

“My background is as a country doctor. I'm much happier in the country. My heart's always been there,” he said.

Dr Bennett said he would probably divide his time at the centre between skin cancer medicine and general practice.

“It's nice to be able to bring to an area an expertise that people otherwise have to travel for,” he said.

Dr Bennett doesn't have any family connections to the Clarence Valley but was attracted to its natural beauty.

“I've been through the Valley a few times before and I spent a few days here last week having a look around. I didn't realise it was so beautiful,” he said.

Dr Bennett is from Brisbane and has decided - at least for now - to commute to the Valley for the four days each week he will be working here.

He said he had two children still in high school and he didn't want to disrupt their studies.

Dr Bennett began his medical career in South Australia but moved shortly after to Cairns in Queensland, where he worked in various places including doing a stint with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

He has considerable operative obstetrics experience and became Director of Obstetrics at Gympie District Hospital in 1996.

In 2002, Dr Bennett moved to NSW to become the Senior Medical Officer in the Bathurst Base Hospital emergency department.

Dr Bennett begins his new position in Maclean tomorrow.

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