$7m super clinic for Coffs Harbour

A LOCAL indigenous-owned health group has signed a $7 million agreement with the Federal Government to open a super clinic at Coffs Harbour.

The non-profit Bawrunga Aboriginal Medical Service (BAMS), which was established in Bowraville in 1999, and has its headquarters at Macksville, already has GP clinics in Toormina, Nambucca Heads and Macksville as well as in Sydney and the western region of NSW.

BAMS’ seven commercial clinics offer bulk-billed GP services to both indigenous and non-indigenous people.

The Acting Minister for Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, yesterday welcomed the signing of the $7 million agreement between Bawrunga Coffs Harbour GP Super Clinic Ltd and the Australian government as a welcome boost to health care in Coffs Harbour.

A spokeswoman for the minister said the location for the new clinic was still under negotiation, with several sites being considered.

“This GP Super Clinic will deliver better access to health services for locals in a single, convenient location,” Mr Butler said.

“The Gillard Government wants to make it easier for all Australians to see and contact a doctor and GP Super Clinics around the country are making this happen.

“The Coffs Harbour GP Super Clinic will provide a new level of integrated, multidisciplinary, team-based, patient-centred healthcare all under one roof.

“Patients will be able to access care from GPs, nurses, allied health professionals and visiting medical specialists.

“The Coffs Harbour Clinic will have a strong emphasis on chronic disease and preventive health care and plans to offer physiotherapy, audiology, psychology, dietetics, speech pathology, podiatry, occupational therapy, dental, pharmacy, pathology, and exercise physiology, as well as provide access to a health promotion officer and Aboriginal health workers.”

The Labor Duty Senator for Cowper Matt Thistlethwaite said the Coffs Harbour GP Super Clinic would train the next generation of health professionals locally with a focus on educating medical, nursing and allied health students, and GP registrar and post-graduate placements.

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