First impressions are important and for Dr Mellissa Naidoo these have all been positive after being appointed as St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital's new Director of Medical Services.
Dr Naidoo takes over from Dr Christian Rowan, who stepped down after five years in the role. Now five months into the job, Dr Naidoo says she has been impressed with the positive patient feedback and high staff morale at the not-for-profit’s 250-bed facility.
“I’ve been hearing about the great work that we do from those who have had personal and professional interactions with the hospital. It’s a nice sized hospital - small enough to maintain that personal interaction but big enough to provide world class care and services,” Dr Naidoo said.
After completing a Bachelor of Science at The University of Queensland and Honours in perinatal research at the Perinatal Research Centre at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Dr Naidoo studied medicine at Flinders University in South Australia. She then returned home to Queensland to complete her internship at Nambour General Hospital and pursue paediatric training at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
Later in her career, Dr Naidoo trained in Medical Administration at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, completing a Masters of Health Management and combining her interest in medical education by taking on the role of Deputy Director of Clinical Training, while completing her fellowship in Medical Administration.
“What particularly interests me about medical administration is the ability to influence patient care on a broader scale and shape and improve healthcare delivery,” she said.
In her previous role, Dr Naidoo was the Deputy Director of Medical Services for Children’s Health Queensland, a state-wide hospital and health service which includes the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. As a leader in the organisation providing family-centred healthcare services for children and young people in Queensland she oversaw key elements of the transition to the new Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and served as the Deputy Director of Medical Services at the tertiary teaching hospital.
“From a career perspective it was great to combine medical administration with my passion for paediatrics and child health and an exciting opportunity to move into a brand new state-of-the-art facility and experience all it takes to open a new hospital and move services,” she said.
Following her appointment at St Andrew’s, Dr Naidoo spent time learning about the hospital and its services and meeting many doctors, nurses and other hospital staff.
“I have enjoyed learning what we do at St Andrew’s. I strive to contribute to the success of the hospital and bring my experience to the areas that matter – specifically, clinical governance and how we work with the doctors to deliver first class medical services. I believe in the importance of patient-centred care and that will be central to my thoughts as we plan for the future,” she said.
Dr Naidoo has attended several General Practitioner education events and has met doctors from across Queensland.
“The GPs are our partners in care and it’s a privilege to be looking after their patients in the hospital. I am pleased to have already attended two of our GP events and met GPs who refer to us who shared their experiences of the hospital.
“I’m always very keen to hear feedback from GPs so we can provide the best care for their patients,” she said.
St Andrew’s General Manager Andrew Barron said Dr Naidoo’s extensive medical and healthcare industry experience and expertise complemented the executive team and the hospital’s vision.
“I feel Dr Naidoo is a good fit for our hospital and will work with us on our vision to provide our patients, and their families, with first class treatment and world class results,” Mr Barron said.