Big de­mand on health clinic

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - TAMARA McDON­ALD

THE Gee­long Clinic has been bol­stered with new beds, more staff and ex­panded men­tal health out­pa­tient pro­grams in re­sponse to in­creased de­mand.

The nine new beds are be­ing used to ac­com­mo­date the pri­vate, vol­un­tary-ad­mis­sion fa­cil­ity’s re­cently ex- panded eat­ing dis­or­der pro­gram and for pa­tients “with high preva­lence dis­or­ders such as anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and mood and ad­dic­tion dis­or­ders”, Gee­long Clinic gen­eral man­ager Ja­nine Haigh said.

“(The beds were) com­mis­sioned in re­sponse to large un­met de­mand for pri­vate re­gional men­tal health­care,” Mrs Haigh said.

The Gee­long Clinic has had a 15 per cent in­crease in on­site psy­chi­a­trists in the last year, Mrs Haigh said.

“We now have 28 cre­den­tialed psy­chi­a­trists who have set up out­pa­tient clin­ics and also work within our hospi­tal to sup­port our day pro­gram and in­pa­tient pro­grams,” Mrs Haigh said.

“We have re­cently ex­pand- ed our out­pa­tient pro­grams to also in­clude day at­ten­dance tran­scra­nial mag­netic stim­u­la­tion pro­gram.

“Pa­tients can now at­tend for the day to re­ceive re­quired treat­ments which are pro­vided within the safety of a qual­ity hospi­tal set­ting.”

Tran­scra­nial mag­netic stim­u­la­tion in­volves a mild form of brain stim­u­la­tion us­ing mag­netic fields, and can be used to treat de­pres­sion.

The Gee­long Clinic is in St Al­bans Park.

It is run by Health­scope, the op­er­a­tor be­hind the Gee­long Pri­vate Hospi­tal which closed ear­lier this year.

The Gee­long Clinic is home to in­no­va­tive eat­ing dis­or­der pro­grams the Proac­tive Re­cov­ery En­hance­ment Pro­gram and the Learn to Eat at Peace treat­ment pro­gram.

The lat­est ex­pan­sion means there are now 52 in­pa­tient beds at the clinic.

Mrs Haigh said that the clinic was run­ning at ca­pac­ity.

She said that anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion were still the most preva­lent con­di­tions for which peo­ple sought help at the clinic.

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