An inland town with just 500 residents finally got a full-time doctor when the GP reveals that his dream of owning a cow is what inspired the 1,000-mile movement.
Dr Adam Louws was further drawn to move from north Brisbane to the small town of Julia Creek in rural north-central Queensland after seeing that the position offered $500,000 a year, a free home and five weeks annual vacation.
The father of four said he had always dreamed of owning a dairy cow and often talked to his family about buying a large property on the outskirts of Brisbane.
So when her mother-in-law saw an article about Julia Creek advertising such a high salary, she caught her eye, joking that she might finally have a cow.
The advertised pay was significantly higher than the median family doctor salary of $175,000, according to 2019-20 tax office data.
Julia Creek (above) finally got a full-time doctor after offering more than $500,000 a year, a free home, and five weeks annual vacation for someone to run her hospital.
Dr. Louws said that working at Julia Creek has been easier than he expected and that his family loves the rural lifestyle (a map of Julia Creek is pictured)
Dr. Louws decided to investigate the offer further and looked at what the city had to offer, in particular its annual Dirt n Dust festival.
“It took me three days, but I actually went all over the city on Google Maps,” he said. australian doctor on Friday.
“It’s hard to explain, the feeling of falling in love with a city you’ve never been to.”
Prior to Dr. Louw’s arrival, Julia Creek had been without a full-time doctor for over 10 years and locals had to travel hundreds of miles for treatment.
The city has a six-bed day hospital staffed by nurses that provides low-level care and temporary care for patients waiting to be transferred in an emergency.
Dr. Adam Louws (above) said he decided to move to Julia Creek after telling his family about his dream of having a dairy cow.
If the locals needed to see a doctor, the closest one was 90 miles away in Richmond.
Deputy Mayor Janene Fegan said patients sometimes had to travel 250km to Mount Isa to reach a GP.
Dr. Louws, his wife and their four children moved to Julia Creek earlier this month and say the transition has been easier than anticipated.
Despite being the head of a GP, nursing home and hospital, Dr Louws said his patient load has “halved”.
‘Yes, things can get hectic at times. On my first day, we had an emergency that had to be transferred, a process that I had to learn very quickly,” she said.
“But overall it’s a lot less pressure than people expect. They expect all these calls at 2am on a Sunday morning, that hasn’t happened yet.”
He added that living in the countryside has many advantages: ‘Where else in Australia can you live five minutes from work and have a 100 acre property? Lots of dirt, lots of open space, clear skies.
However, Dr Louws said he is still “working” on getting his milk cow.
Julia Creek ran an ad (above) for a doctor last year offering more than $500,000 a year, a free home, and five weeks annual leave after she was without a full-time GP for more than 10 years.
The Julia Creek physician from 1999 to 2004 also enjoyed inner-city life, saying he looks back with “incredibly fond memories.”
“To go from cold, green and wet Ireland to the dry and warm expanse of McKinlay Shire was definitely a shock to the system,” said Dr Martin Doris.
‘Luckily, the people of Julia Creek and McKinlay welcomed us with open arms; we became part of the community.’
Holly Kenny, whose husband Tim was the town doctor for five years, also enjoyed her time at Julia Creek.
“We thought we could contribute something… how wrong we were, it was the other way around,” he said.
‘Nothing prepared us for Bush’s hospitality and generosity on all levels that we would receive from this precious community.
“We were accepted with open arms and never looked back.”