Super Clinic reality a win for all
THE wait is finally over - the Emerald GP Super Clinic has the funding, the plans have been drawn and the land has been secured.
Following a 12-month battle fighting bureaucratic red tape and jumping through Federal Government hoops, the Central Queensland Rural Division of General Practice has confirmed the facility that will bring four more doctors, specialist care and training possibilities to the Central Highlands is a reality.
CQRDGP chief executive Sandra Corfield said the year-long campaign was well worth it to ensure Central Highlanders had access to the best medical care possible.
"We're excited but anticipating there is still a huge amount of work to make it the facility that will support the whole of the Central Highlands," Mrs Corfield said.
"The plan with this super clinic is not to be just a GP Super Clinic.
"It will be a training facility which will support the development of health services in the Central Highlands and broader rural Queensland."
The $5 million in funding secured from the Federal Government will bring four GPs, with hopes of increasing up to 10 new doctors within four years.
The plans include provisions for 10 specialist allied health consulting rooms, two large therapy areas and a large training area, as well as two minor operation procedure rooms on a 700sq m facility to be built on the corner of Pilot Farm Rd and the Gregory Hwy.
Despite the supplementary services the GP Super Clinic will bring to enhance Emerald's medical services, it is the training and development prospects which will serve to benefit the Central Highlands in the long term.
"There will also be training placements for medical students, postgraduates, GP registrars, nursing students and indigenous health workers, as well as student allied health placements," Mrs Corfield said.
"If you come out and have a positive experience in a rural setting, they are more likely to return to the rural area.
"The rural placement offers a more generalist and varied experience."
Central Highlands Council Mayor Peter Maguire said the emphasis on developing a training facility reflected the community's desire for long-term medical staff.
"There seems to be broad community support from the medical people in the community so we've made available some land for the possible location of the facilities," Cr Maguire said.
"Hopefully sooner rather than later we can get it up and running."
A Department of Health and Ageing spokeswoman said the Commonwealth signed the $5.5 million Funding Agreement with the CQRDGP and was now in negotiations with the CHRC.
"The Gillard Government is also providing $100,000 to the Emerald After Hours Service under Round 4 of the General Practice After Hours Program," the spokeswoman said.
Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd, who has worked closely with the CQRDGP said: "While this announcement will go some way to improving the health needs of Central Queensland, more needs to be done to address the issue of a lack of doctors, training and housing facilities for health professionals throughout the region."