Super clinic rollout gathers pace but not without hiccups
THE country’s first fully functional GP super clinic is expected to open its doors in Ballan, Victoria, within weeks, according to the Federal Government.
However, while the Government’s east coast super clinics may be steadily rolling out, the ABC has reported there are likely to be significant delays to the west coast facilities.
AMA (WA) council of general practice chair Dr Steve Wilson told the ABC the project was well behind schedule, and questioned whether the super clinics would improve the current health system at all.
According to statements given at a recent Senate estimates hearing, the $1 million Ballan super clinic – operated by the Ballan and District Soldiers Memorial Bush Nursing Hospital – has already recruited a GP and a practice nurse. A planned Pap smear clinic already has bookings six months ahead of time.
In NSW, the southern Lake Macquarie GP super clinic will begin operating limited services by the end of the year, while an interim site for the north Central Coast GP super clinic will be opened next month.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Nicola Roxon was last week in the Northern Territory to witness the start of construction on the $10 million Palmerston GP super clinic. Only operating as an after-hours service, the Palmerston clinic has been plagued by difficulties.
Only one local GP is contracted to provide services, meaning the service remains heavily reliant on interstate locums.
It has previously been forced to rely on paramedics and nurses to provide services when a GP could not be found.
A spokesperson for Northern Territory Health Minister Kon Vatskalis said an operator was yet to be determined for the clinic with the Territory Government set to engage in a tender process to identify a suitable private operator later this year.
Mapping out Australia’s super clinics
New South Wales
1. Blue Mountains, Balance! Healthcare, $5 million
2. Southern Lake Macquarie, Waratah Medical Services @ Morisset Trust, $2.5million
3. Shellharbour, Illawarra Division of General Practice, $2.5 million
4. Port Stephens, Rural and Metropolitan Health, $2.5 million
5. North Central Coast, Warnervale Medical Services Pty Ltd, $2.5 million
6. Palmerston, Northern Territory Department of Health and Families, $10 million
7. Redcliffe, Moreton Bay Integrated Care Centre, $5 million
8. Townsville, Nicholl Holdings, $5 million
9. Cairns, Balance! Healthcare, $5 million
10. Ipswich, University of Queensland, $2.5 million
11. Strathpine, Superclinic Nominees Pty Ltd, $2.5 million
12. Clarence, Hobart, Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services, $7.5 million
13. Devonport, Devonport GP Superclinic Pty Ltd, $5 million
14. Burnie, Burnie Super Clinic Pty Ltd, $2.5 million
15. Geelong, General Practitioners Association of Geelong (GPAG), in partnership with Barwon Health, $7 million
16. Bendigo, Monash University on behalf of Bendigo Primary Care Consortium, $5 million
17. Ballan, Ballan and District Soldiers’ Memorial Bush Nursing Hospital and Hostel Inc, $1 million
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