Clinic ‘super’ for city
Monday, 17th October, 2011
By John Casey
The positive impacts of the GP Super Clinic are already unfolding for Broken Hill even though the $7 million facility will not open its doors until late next year.
Starting today the three practices run by GP Super Clinic operators Outback Family Practice (OFP) will expand their bulk billing program to include all pensioners.
That means all pensioner patients at OFP, the nearby BH Medical Centre and the South Practice in Patton Street will be bulk billed from this morning.
“It was always our intention to expand the bulk billing program once the Super Clinic opened but we have decided to fast-track that move so local pensioners benefit straight away,” OFP co-owner Dr Ros Menzies explained.
“Of course children under 17, health care card holders, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, will continue to be bulk billed as well,” Dr Menzies added.
The overwhelming positive response received from patients following last week’s green light for the GP Super Clinic prompted Dr Menzies and fellow OFP co-owner Dr Funmi Komolafe to start bulk billing all pensioners from today.
“The excitement the GP Super Clinic announcement has generated has been overwhelming,” Dr Komolafe said.
“We are really looking forward to providing the benefits of the Super Clinic to our patients and the entire local community as well,” she continued.
“I believe the deepest excitement about the Super Clinic is being felt by our patients,” Dr Menzies added.
“After all, they are the people who are going to benefit the most.”
Fellow GP, Dr Vaneet Shah, described last week’s Super Clinic announcement as an enormous boost for Broken Hill.
“As we see with this announcement regarding bulk billing of all pensioners, the benefits of a Super Clinic will be enormous,” Dr Shah said.
“While the BH Medical Centre may not be housed in the same building as the Super Clinic it will still be run by the same owners and will operate on identical processes.
“Every single person in Broken Hill who needs medical attention is going to benefit in some way from the Super Clinic,” Dr Shah continued.
Expanding the bulk billing service will not only ease the financial burden on the elderly, but has the added benefit of saving pensioners from having to visit the Medicare office as well.
Dr Shah, who manages the BH Medical Centre in Thomas Street for OFP, believes the new Super Clinic will also help attract more doctors to the city.
“The teaching aspect of the Super Clinic will appeal to many doctors and provide motivation to come to Broken Hill which previously didn’t exist,” Dr Shah said.
“Obviously the presence of a state of the art medical facility in the city can only help attract workers from other industries as well.”
Dr Shah, who has been in BH for four years with his wife Iram and three-year-old son Armaan, predicts a bright future for the city.
“In the time I have been here I have watched the city develop in so many ways,” he enthused.
“With the new shopping centre, re-development of the pool, the expansion on the mines and projects such as the new retirement village, Broken Hill obviously has a lot of potential.
“That can only encourage an influx of new residents,” Dr Shah added.
Having purchased a house as well as a block of land to perhaps build another home in the future, Dr Shah says he and his family have long-term plans to remain in BH.
“The lifestyle here and the friendly nature of the people are very inviting and I can see other doctors falling in love with the city and establishing themselves here permanently as well.”