Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

First Specialist Palliative Care Physician A Welcome Addition

A desire to linger longer at the bedside of patients, hear their concerns and ease their pain led Dr Shanan Molloy to choose palliative care as her speciality.

“I decided when I was working as a GP training in Beaudesert hospital,” Dr Molloy said.

“There was a palliative specialist who came down once a week to do a round and see all the palliative patients.

“I did a number of rounds there, and I just really connected with the way that specialist practiced, she said.

“It was so patient-centred, and he was able to spend a lot more time with patients and address their concerns so thoroughly.

“You could make quite a difference for people at the end of their life.”

Happily for Mackay, Dr Molloy who has two children under the age of four, also chose to return home to be closer to family last year. In November she was appointed as the Mackay Base Hospital’s first specialist palliative care physician.

“We’d been travelling around for some time doing training,” Dr Molloy said.

“We decided to come back to Mackay to be near my family and set up base.”

Dr Molloy is working part-time at this stage and only seeing in-patients, but she also works closely with SPaRTa – the Specialist Palliative and Rural Telehealth service – which provides palliative care outpatient services.

She is also involved in the early stages of planning to increase the Mackay HHS palliative care workforce, as part of Queensland Health’s Specialist Palliative Care Workforce Plan.

Dr Molloy admits palliative care can be a difficult field to work in.

“It can be really challenging work, but it’s also really rewarding,” she said.

Dr Shanan Molloy was appointed as Mackay Base Hospital’s first specialist palliative care physician. Photo supplied: Mackay Hospital and Health Service

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