Endoscopy training of rural GPs at the Princess Alexandra Hospital is already starting to make a difference to rural Queenslanders. The project was initially the brainchild of RCoB's Professor Gerald Holtmann who also happens to be the Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
 Dr Jennifer Wharton from Thursday Island at the PAH Rural Endoscopy Training Centre observed by Prof Gerald Holtmann, Director of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, PAH and Dr Derek Holroyd from Proserpine.
Gerald was concerned about the amount of travel required of rural patients who generally need to travel hundreds of km to regional centres for endoscopic examinations. This is not a problem that can be solved simply by spending money to locate equipment in far-flung locations. Trained personnel need to be on-hand to perform the procedures, and they just are not available in rural areas. Gerald brought a proposal for the training of rural generalists in endoscopic procedures to his Rotary Club, who agreed to seed-fund a start-up project to the tune of $20,000 in collaboration with the Princess Alexandra Foundation and Queensland Health.
After a two-year pilot and planning phase, rural generalists are now trained in endoscopy and colonoscopy to provide services to their communities. Dr Jennifer Wharton from Thursday Island and Dr Derek Holroyd from Proserpine started training earlier this year. The 12-month program includes simulator training (pictured), hands on training on all relevant aspects of endoscopy and the completion of a quality assurance research project. Prof Holtmann  acknowledged the ‘…hard work by various team members and support from Rotary Club of Brisbane helped to shape this program…’.
The program is now part of the Queensland Health Endoscopy Action Plan and supported by the Queensland Health Innovation Unit.