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Wimmera Health Care Group’s new chief medical officer is impressed by the high standard of care at the health service.

Dr Andre Nel’s priority is to improve services for the Horsham district with a particular focus on the emergency department.

“The emergency department is quite short of medical staff,” Dr Nel said. 

“We are advertising for an emergency services director and clinical director and will look at orthopaedic services, which are almost non-existent.”

Dr Andre Nel, originally from Johannesburg in South Africa, has been in Australia for over ten years. As well as working in Melbourne, Dr Nel has worked in small health services across Australia and New Zealand and is delighted in what he has experienced so far in Horsham.

“I’m impressed by the high standard of care,” Dr Nel said.

“Already I can see the commitment that people have in providing good services.

Dr Nel said he was pleased with his initial impressions of Horsham and the Wimmera.

“I had no idea the Wimmera River was so attractive – it’s absolutely beautiful. I’m impressed with the whole region, it is a very nice part of the world,” he said.

Dr Nel, has signed on with WHCG for a minimum of three years, taking the reins from Dr Rob Pegram.

Dr Pegram’s stint at WHCG as acting medical services director was a lot longer than first planned.

“I came to WHCG in November 2020 to fill in for a month and here I am nine months later,” Dr Pegram said.

Dr Pegram has enjoyed working at Wimmera Health Care Group.

“Horsham has brilliant, dedicated staff who love their local hospital and connection with the community,” Dr Pegram said.

“Like all rural areas, there is an ongoing battle to make sure we have enough resources to deliver the quantity of care that we need to provide a safe service.”

Rob said that he was looking forward to retirement and there were a lot of things he would like to achieve.

“I will be spending time at home, working in my shed, working in the garden, catching up with friends, reading, grandpa duties, fiddling with old cars and generally enjoying retirement with my wife and the rest of my family in Leopold.” he said.

“This is my third attempt at retiring and this time I think I’ll take it seriously.”

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