Cairns Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Cairns Private Hospital welcomes new AOA President as Medical Director

Nov 18, 2022

New President of the Australian Orthopaedic Association and regional health care advocate, Associate Professor Chris Morrey, has been appointed as Medical Director at Cairns Private Hospital.

A/Prof Morrey, who has been working as an orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital for more than 20 years, said he was eager to get started in his new role

“Cairns Private hospital is a great place to work. We’ve got a good crew, we’ve got a very good culture and very good teaching program. We have a hospital that people want to work in,” A/Prof Morrey said.

“But we’ve been through a lot in recent years, between COVID and the resulting workforce shortages. 

“I thought that my experience and being a member of the local medical committee would make me a good person for the job of Medical Director. I want to use my medical training and experience to be the liaison between the hospital and local surgeons and specialists so together we can show the people of Cairns and surrounding areas that we have a leading, tertiary-led service right here that people don’t need to travel far to access.

A/Prof Morrey is a passionate advocate for regional areas, having completed fellowships in the UK and Italy and travelled the world teaching, but he’s always happy to return home to Cairns.

“I’ve spent 20 years travelling the world teaching other doctors about orthopaedic trauma techniques, but I really want to show younger doctors the benefits of working in regional areas.

“I want to show them that in a regional area they can achieve what they want to achieve in their professional careers while still having a pleasant personal and family life. One of the benefits I love about Cairns is there’s not a lot of traffic or travel from home to the hospital.”

A/Prof Morrey plans to promote the benefits of working regionally in his new role as President of the Australian Orthopaedics Association (AOA). Associate Professor Morrey was sworn in as President in the same week he was appointed as Cairns Private Hospital’s Medical Director. 

A/Prof Morrey has worked with a colleague in Cairns, Dr Arvind Puri, and the Queensland branch of the AOA to establish a Far North Queensland rotating orthopaedics training program which will kick off in 2023. The program will see orthopaedics trainees from Brisbane spend two years working between Cairns and another regional town before returning to Brisbane to finalise their training. 

I’m a big advocate for regional health care and want to encourage more people to come and train in the area.

“There is evidence that people who go to work in a regional area often stay there, which will only help improve the workforce in the regions, which, as we’ve heard about through COVID, often have some of the longest waiting times for elective surgery.”

A/Prof Morrey in conjunction with Dr Puri has also helped create a local program where orthopaedic registrars visit local high schools to help promote orthopaedic surgery as a career option. 

Cairns Private Hospital CEO, Ben Tooth, said local doctors, patients and medical students will all benefit from A/Prof Morrey taking the role as Medical Director at Cairns Private Hospital. 

Associate Professor Morrey brings excellent experience and knowledge to the role of Medical Director at Cairns Private Hospital and I’m looking forward to working closely with him,” Mr Tooth said.

“As a passionate advocate for regional health care, I know he will work diligently to ensure the best outcomes and experiences for our patients.”