While Covid-19 has constrained many services to our region, it has also created new opportunities.

The Wimmera’s dementia patients and those suffering movement disorders can now see a Horsham-based neurologist. Dr Fariha Islam has settled into practice in Horsham as the region’s first neurologist.

Dr Fari, as she likes to be called, moved to the region recently with her partner Dr David Hunchak because of their love of the outdoors and a particular fondness for Mt Arapiles. The couple had originally planned to spend a few weeks here before moving their family to Canada but the pandemic thwarted those plans.

Dr Fari trained at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital where she completed a Fellowship in movement disorders, then followed that study up by completing a Fellowship in cognitive disorders at the Eastern Hospital.Her special interest in those fields means she can treat patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and those with cognitive disorders such as various forms of dementia. She can also provide consultation on any general neurological presentation including headaches, seizures, stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Dr Fari said she was also working at Wimmera Base Hospital as a general medicine physician.

“I also plan to do some work with Ballarat Health Service at their dementia clinic,” Dr Fari said.

“I’ve only been here a couple of months and I’ve just come off maternity leave so we are still settling in for now.”

Dr Hunchak is a rural generalist with special interests in anaesthesia, emergency medicine and aboriginal health. He also works in the hospital’s Emergency Department as a GP.

Read Street Medical Centre manager Heather Parker said the appointments of Dr Fari and Dr Hunchak to the region was an example of where the community had benefitted from the pandemic.

“We are very lucky to have Dr Fari and we want the community to take full advantage of her knowledge,” Ms Parker said.

Anyone wanting to make an appointment with Dr Fari should contact the medical clinic on 5381 9167.

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