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Meet Dr Saba Hammad

13th March 2023

Dr Hammad at RH22 iiOriginally from Pakistan, Dr Saba Hammad never imagined her career would take her to the Hunter Valley but she says the warm, friendly locals eased her transition to rural life.  

Dr Hammad completed her medical training in Pakistan and worked there as a General Practitioner (GP) before making the decision with her family to move to Australia.  

“We chose to move to Australia because of the loving, friendly people and the weather. I find the people here so welcoming and friendly and when it comes to culture, there is more cultural diversity in Australia, so that was another thing that drew us here,” Dr Hammad said.  

Dr Hammad is a GP with a special interest in skin-related concerns and women’s health. The mum of two currently lives in Muswellbrook and works across the communities of Muswellbrook, Denman and Merriwa.  

NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) supported Dr Hammad in position placement and medical registration as well as providing her with advice and guidance on Medicare and working within Australia’s healthcare system. She also received support from RDN via the Health Workforce Scholarship Program. Dr Hammad says RDN’s assistance helped her find her feet working in rural Australia. 

“I received the most support from RDN during my move to working in Australia. They really helped me by explaining the whole process, helping me to find the right position and getting a relocation grant”, Dr Hammad said. 

“Working in rural Australia has given me the opportunity to learn so much. You learn how to manage complex-needs patients because you are all by yourself. You have to take on many roles.” 

While Dr Hammad credits working rurally with giving her a breadth of experience in managing varied cases, she acknowledges the challenges it presents.  

“We need greater access to allied health in rural settings. There aren’t enough psychologists, OTs and speech pathologists,” she said.  

“We do struggle rurally when it comes to offering comprehensive care but telehealth has been great in servicing the health needs of rural Australians.”  

Dr Hammad says her favourite thing about working in rural Australia is the people and strong sense of community.  

“I think that the people in the Hunter Valley are the most beautiful people in all of Australia. They are so kind and they really care about you. There was a time that my husband had to go back to Pakistan and I was alone with my kids and the community really stepped up to help me out,” she said.  

“Patients bring cards and gifts for my kids, it really is such a wonderful community and that’s the part I love the most.”  

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