Doctors recognised for excellent service

THREE Coffs Coast doctors have been awarded for their years of diligent service, adding their time with that of 20 other doctors to collectively achieve almost 1000 years of medical service to rural communities.

Dr Bruce Dolman from Coffs Harbour has been in service for 62 years, Dr Michael Ridley from Coffs Harbour has 48 years service, and Dr Paul Gan from Macksville has been in service for 41 years.

The local doctors were three out of 21 general practitioners recognised for their service at the NSW Rural Doctors Network conference earlier this month, with the combined service of the doctors amounting to an amazing 983 years.

Rural Doctors Network chief executive officer, Dr Ian Cameron, said these rural doctors epitomise active, positive and community minded medical professionals.

“They deserve our respect and gratitude for the vital roles they have filled in rural communities,” Dr Cameron said.

“Many of these doctors are still working a full week and without their services many communities would be struggling for medical care.”

Dr Michael Ridley moved to Coffs Harbour in 1963 when Coffs was a small town of 8000 people and eight doctors.

An honorary student officer at Coffs District Hospital (later Base), Dr Ridley has also been chairman of the Medical Staff Council, a member of the hospital board and chairman of the District Hospital Board.

Dr Ridley was an inaugural divisional surgeon of St Johns Ambulance from 1986 to 1992 and Corps surgeon for Northern NSW from 1992 to 2000.

Dr Paul Gan was born in Malaysia and studied at Sydney University, graduating in 1958. Following a two-year residency in Crows Nest, Dr Gan moved to Kuala Lumpur, then Sydney, before moving to Macksville in 1965.

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