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Wanted: £70,000 part-time village GP with interest in climbing or kayaking
One of the remotest villages in Britain is hoping to attract a GP with an interest in climbing or kayaking, who could earn a salary of £70,000 for working six months a year.
By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent Last Updated: 7:01PM GMT 20 Jan 2009
The Scottish Highlands Photo: GETTY
Applecross, which is reached over one of the highest mountain roads in the country, hopes its stunning scenery, rare wildlife and rugged mountains will attract the ideal candidate.
Members of the local community have set up a special website in a bid to attract applicants.
The site stresses the lifestyle advantages of a remote Highland surgery with 265 patients.
Dr Janice Cargill, the area’s long-serving GP, has lived in Applecross for the past 15 years and is seeking a replacement for her associate doctor.
She plans to share the job with the new doctor, working every other week, with the two GPs also providing out-of-hours care.
The website describes recreational opportunities including hill walking, climbing and kayaking, and the vacancy is also being advertised in outdoor magazines.
The website states: “This is an ideal opportunity for someone who is happy living in a small, friendly community and who enjoys the outdoors.
“The mountains of Torridon, Achnashellach and Skye are close by and the waters of the Inner Sound of Raasay, which are warmed by the Gulf Stream, are ideal for sailing and kayaking.
“Applecross is a beautiful and tranquil peninsula resting on the rugged coast of Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands. It is an ideal location for those wishing to escape the pressures of modern life and to unwind in a coastal area.”
“There are periods of calm, but you never know what the next call is going to be.”
Alison Macleod, secretary of the Applecross Community Council, said the community had been warned that despite the salary it may be difficult to attract a suitable doctor to the post.
She said she wanted to assure prospective candidates that it was a very beautiful place to live and a safe and friendly community.
After a similar appeal for a doctor on the island of Jura several years ago, islanders were inundated with applications from city-based GPs all over Europe.
The Applecross peninsula overlooks the Isle of Skye and in 1850 was home to around 3,000 people living in scattered crofting townships.
The main access road is the highest pass in Scotland, at 2053ft above sea level, and is described as “unsuitable for learner drivers, caravans or those of a nervous disposition”.
The “award winning Applecross Inn” gets a mention on the website for its locally caught seafood, and prospective GPs are advised that “croft grown” vegetables, free range eggs and fresh bakery produce are available. The local wildlife includes pine martens, otters, red deer and golden eagles.