My Christmas - Dr Paul Mara

“I have delivered six or seven babies on Christmas Day – they seem to pick that date as a good time to come,” Dr Mara said.

“Hopefully Santa won’t bring too many skateboards or motorbikes this year and we’ll have a pretty quiet day.”

Dr Mara’s on-call Christmas will be familiar to many rural GPs and is part of the reason he is urging the federal government to change its approach to rural healthcare in 2012.

“We would like to see national acceptance of an advanced training program for rural generalist doctors, and we would like to have it up and running by the end of next year,” he said.

Dr Mara said he looked forward to Christmas, although there was “absolutely no chance” of not being called in to work.

“I’ll get up and go to work and hopefully come home for Christmas dinner, then go back to work,” he said.