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Super health link

Saturday, 18th May, 2013

By Andrew Robertson

As construction of the city’s superclinic reaches the half way point, talks are underway between its owners and other health care providers to create a “comprehensive health network”.

Dr Funmi Komolafe, who co-owns Outback Family Practice which is building the superclinic in Thomas Street, said the soon-to-be expanded practice and region’s major health care providers are “exploring ways” of working together.

She said discussions were centered around the co-sharing of services as well as avoiding their duplication.

“We are exploring ways of working together and ... collaboratively working towards a comprehensive health network for Broken Hill,” Dr Komolafe told the BDT yesterday.

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Service, the RFDS, Far West Medicare Local and the hospital were involved in the talks which were also aimed at filling any gaps in services and creating “a clear referral pathway” to each other.

The discussions reflect the growing importance and influence of the practice which Dr Komolafe confirmed was set to become “a major provider” of health care services to the region.

She said it was also keen to forge ties with the Sydney University Department of Rural Health as a means of increasing recruitment and retention of doctors to the region.

“We have a major focus on education and training of doctors and hope to work with the university and other providers to make sure this happens,” Dr Komolafe said.

“We hope to attract the full range of allied health care providers as well.”

She said the practice would soon embark on a large recruitment drive to ensure that “all aspects of multidisciplinary care are represented” in the clinic.

Work on the $7 million superclinic began late last year and completion is expected to be in late October or early November, according to Dr Komolafe.

“It’s getting close to the mid point of construction.

“Everything is on track. The builders are working very hard and sometimes on weekends to ensure the timetable is being followed.”

Dr Komolafe said representatives from the Department of Health were in the city a couple of weeks ago to check on the superclinic and the renovation of the practice’s South clinic, and were satisfied with the progress.

A pharmacy and cafe will be housed with in the superclinic along with radiology and pathology services.

“We are very close to concluding negotiations for co-tenants,” the doctor said.

The practice is operating out of a temporary building until the superclinic is finished.

Meanwhile, work to expand the South clinic, which will have its own pathology service, is expected to be finished in a couple of weeks.

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