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Super news - $7m GP clinic on the way

Wednesday, 12th October, 2011

BIG PLANS: Outback Family Practice c-owners Ros Menzies and and Funmi Komolafe. BIG PLANS: Outback Family Practice c-owners Ros Menzies and and Funmi Komolafe.

By John Casey

A key platform to help guarantee the future of Broken Hill has been chartered with news that a new, state of the art $7m GP Super Clinic will opens its doors in a little over 12 months.

As forecast in the BDT seven weeks ago, Outback Family Practice has been awarded the GP Super Clinic licence which will cover two locations, including a facility in South BH.

Outback Family Practice (OFP) co-owners Dr Rosalind Menzies and Dr Funmi Komolafe are understandably “very excited” that their organisation has been chosen, but believe the residents of BH will be the big winners.

“We can look forward to another five doctors arriving in Broken Hill and this Super Clinic will be something that will endure with this city into the future,” Dr Menzies said.

“The clinic will not only motivate doctors to come to the city, but will also have a positive impact on drawing workers and their families here - safe in the knowledge that their medical and health needs can be met.

“Looking at the bigger picture, this clinic is a triumph for the people of Broken Hill and they deserve it,” Dr Menzies continued.

Those sentiments were echoed by Federal Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon, who said the GP Super Clinic would “deliver better access to health services for locals”.

“They (GP Super Clinics) provide integrated multidisciplinary, team-based, patient-centered health services in a single location, bringing together GPs, nurses, visiting medical specialists, allied health professionals and other health care providers and services,” Ms Roxon said.

BH Duty Senator Ursula Stephens also welcomed the news, explaining the GP Super Clinic would relieve the pressure on the BH Hospital and have “a strong emphasis on chronic disease management and lifestyle modification programs”.

Importantly, both clinic locations plan to bulk bill all Medicare services for health care card holders, children under 17, patients managed under a chronic disease program and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Dr Menzies explained the GP Super Clinic would be a “hub and spoke” model with its headquarters located at Outback Family Practice in Thomas Street opposite the hospital.

“We expect to start construction by next March and the building should be up by the end of the year,” Dr Menzies said.

“We have already knocked down two buildings at the Thomas Street location and we will need to demolish two more to create the finished product which will cover 1400-square metres.

“The South Medical Centre in Paton Street will be the “spoke” for the hub and we will develop that site as well to accommodate what we hope will be three full-time doctors.

“We envisage that a full suite of allied health professionals will rotate between the two locations,” Dr Menzies added.

The OFP submission included plans for a radiology unit including X-Ray, CT scan and ultrasound facilities.

“The hub will be a one-stop shop providing a wide range of services while the residents of South Broken Hill can also look forward to better access to doctors and other health professionals,” Dr Menzies said.

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