In this location guide series, we will showcase what it is like to work in a specific region in either Australia or New Zealand. Each episode will highlight the unique benefits of the chosen location and its facilities while outlining the opportunities available to our doctors.
Timaru, New Zealand
Sitting midway between Christchurch and Dunedin, Timaru is the second-largest city in Canterbury. Touted as one of the region’s “hidden gems”, Timaru enjoys a mix of mountains, lakes, rivers and beaches, offering a rural family lifestyle to suit a range of tastes while still having access to excellent facilities, education, health and infrastructure. For those who need to travel further afield, Richard Pearse Airport is only a few minutes’ drive away, providing regular flights to Wellington.
A sport and leisure hub, Timaru has a comprehensive range of community sporting facilities for everything from rugby and cricket to golf, yachting and even croquet – many of which are designed to international standards.
If you love the outdoors, you’ll enjoy the many opportunities for tramping, climbing, mountain biking, boating, surfing and fishing that are available nearby, and there are also five ski fields within easy driving distance of the city. The golden sands of Caroline Bay is a favourite destination of the locals, offering a safe swimming beach, pool, playground, aviary, skate park, boardwalks, native plantings and wildlife, and is host to a range of events and entertainment throughout the year.
Further inland, the 65-hectare Centennial Park (known locally as Scenic Reserve) offers activities for the whole family, and is a prime location for walking, jogging, mountain biking and exercising dogs. You can even try your hand at BMX or orienteering, or perhaps have a picnic in the sun and feed the ducks – all just a short distance from the main urban area.
The city also offers a great collection of restaurants and cafés which link the beach to the main shopping area and is renowned for its Edwardian history and architecture, constructed in local volcanic bluestone. The arts and culture scene has something for everyone, with a rich blend of the historic, traditional and contemporary. The city’s art gallery holds the third largest public art collection in the South Island, and the museum displays a fascinating collection of moa-hunter artefacts and whaling relics.
Timaru Hospital, South Canterbury District Health Board
Timaru Hospital is a modern 24-hour General Hospital with 131 beds and $70 million annual operating expenditure. Specialties include General Surgery, General Medicine, Cardiology Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, Emergency, Oncology, Rheumatology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Orthopaedics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, ICU/CCU, Ophthalmology, ENT, Oral & Dental Surgery, and Geriatrics.
The average day sees around 35 hospital discharges, 45 emergency department attendances, 261 home/school visits and 281 outpatient attendances as the hospital provides quality health services that meet the needs of the community.
In 2019, it was announced that the hospital’s emergency and outpatient departments would undergo a $1.4 million makeover to modernise the facilities, streamline services and create a better environment for patients. Key developments include new triage and treatment areas to provide faster tracking for patients with minor injuries and free up bed spaces in the Emergency Department, as well as a new procedure room to facilitate minor procedures on the ground floor rather than in a theatre.
The refurbishment will help to optimise the hospital’s existing layout, enabling the best possible care for the patient and the best working conditions for staff.
Timaru truly enjoys the best of both worlds, with its scenic natural surroundings, rich history and high-quality facilities. If you’re looking for a quieter pace that is great for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike, look no further.
To learn more about the region and any potential locum and permanent opportunities, please contact the team today.