November 21, 2022

Dr Moira Rush: Sereima Bale Pacific Fellow

Dr Moira Rush, Staff Specialist at Northern Hospital Epping, is currently in Suva, the capital of Fiji, assisting with training of anaesthetists at the Fiji National University.

Moira is the recipient of the Sereima Bale Pacific Fellowship. The Fellowship by the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA) was introduced in August 2003 for trainees in their fifth year from Australia to spend three months in the Pacific.

“I have done lots of short trips to the Asia-Pacific region over the last 10 years to either teach or provide anaesthetic services. I have wanted to work in the region for a longer period for some time to try to have a bigger impact. The Pacific Fellowship was the right amount of time with some clear objectives and potential for ongoing involvement in the future. And not too far from home,” said Moira.

“The Fiji National University has a long association with the ASA, and for many years, Fellows have been traveling to The Colonial War Memorial Hospital, the largest public hospital in Fiji, to take up this opportunity to contribute to anaesthesia in the Pacific.”

“I am also assisting with the delivery of the Essential Pain Management (EPM) to final year medical students in Suva, Labasa and Lautoka,” Moira said.

“If I have encouraged one trainee to think more broadly about access to appropriate pain management for their patients, I will be happy.”

Moira said the pandemic has had a devastating effect on the Pacific, with many of the trainees were unable to work for long periods of time.

“Now that they are back in the hospitals and able to continue their training, it was a great privilege to be able to assist with preparation for exams and to provide clinical support in what can often be a very challenging environment,” she said.

“I learned as much from the trainees as I hope they learned from me. It’s been everything I had hoped for and much more. Small changes can impact individuals and with time broader systemic changes are possible. You have to start somewhere.”

Dr Sereima Bale, the namesake of the Sereima Bale Pacific Fellowship, was a senior lecturer in anaesthesia at the University of Fiji for over 20 years. Here, amongst many other accolades, she was conferred the Distinguished Service Awards 2020 by the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists.

The Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva


Featured image shows final year medical students with Dr Moira Rush at centre.