Super clinic to share the load
DOCTORS at the GP Super Clinic due to open in Grafton next year will be good ‘general practice citizens’, says developer Ochre Health.
Ochre Health director Peter Bayley responded to concerns of local GPs who were worried that the super clinic would only be interested in ‘skimming’ the cream off the local health market and shrink away from providing after-hours and weekend service, as well as nursing home visits and follow-up care of patients in hospital.
Mr Bayley said there was currently no GP after-hours service in Grafton. He said Ochre Health would consult local doctors and the local division of GPs to decide on the level of after-hours service super clinic GPs could provide.
“The issue is larger than just one GP practice,” he said.
“The workload has to be shared by a large number of doctors.
“Providing after-hours service is a desirable goal to have.
“We will be encouraging all of the GP staff to do nursing home visits.
“Weekend work is a similar situation to after-hours services. It’s definitely something that we would like to have.
“It will need to be developed after consultation with all the GPs in Grafton.
“(GP visiting rights) is something that will be decided by the hospitals,” Mr Bayley said.
“We would encourage all the doctors that work in the super clinic to have visiting rights with their patients in hospital.
“We will be a good general practice ‘citizen’ in Grafton. In the majority of our rural medical centres, the doctors provide after-hours care, visit patients in aged-care facilities and care for patients in the local hospitals. We will be expecting GPs in the Grafton GP Super Clinic to do the same.”
Mr Bayley said Ochre Health would begin recruiting staff once construction had begun on the super clinic.
“It’s easier for us to recruit people to work when we have something concrete to show them,” Mr Bayley said.
He said the timetable was for construction to begin in September, with the building to be completed in October next year. The clinic would open for business a month later.
He said the focus of the super clinic would be on patients with complex and chronic conditions as this was a key condition of the Federal Government funding for the clinic.
“Patients with diabetes or with a combination of respiratory and mobility problems that need closely co-ordinated care with other health care professionals are the focus of the super clinic,” Mr Bayley said.
In addition to GPs there would be nurses as well as other health professionals such as a speech pathologist, audiometrist, occupational therapist, psychologist, counsellor and dietician.