Dampier pa­tients get new GP clinic

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A full-time GP ser­vice is now op­er­at­ing in Dampier af­ter 360 Health and Com­mu­nity opened its Com­mu­nity Hub clinic this month.

The WA health not-for-profit will con­sist of two GPs, in­clud­ing lo­cally es­tab­lished doc­tor Dr Martin Ku­mar, ro­tat­ing be­tween the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s clin­ics in Dampier and Wick­ham, and pro­vid­ing ser­vices on a full-time ba­sis across both lo­ca­tions.

A sec­ond per­ma­nent full-time GP is in the process of be­ing hired, with a locum cur­rently fill­ing the po­si­tion.

360 GP ser­vices ex­ec­u­tive man­ager Col­lean Guest said the ser­vice had es­tab­lished the clinic to ad­dress lo­cal de­mand.

“Dampier was iden­ti­fied as a town with a large gap in health ser­vices. With no GP sta­tioned there, res­i­dents were re­quired to travel,” she said.

“We know that if ac­cess­ing pri­mary health ser­vices is dif­fi­cult there is a flow-on ef­fect to other is­sues, such as the de­vel­op­ment of chronic dis­ease, so we feel that by sta­tion­ing a per­ma­nent full-time GP in Dampier we can pre­vent these more se­ri­ous is­sues be­fore they be­come more of a prob­lem.

“Apart from the ob­vi­ous ben­e­fits of mak­ing ac­cess­ing health eas­ier, a GP be­comes a corner­stone of a strong com­mu­nity — able to co-or­di­nate ac­cess to all avail­able ser­vices and ad­vo­cate for the com­mu­nity on what health ser­vices they re­quire.”

The Dampier clinic is op­er­at­ing five days a week but may in­crease to six days in the near fu­ture.

Ms Guest said staffing clin­ics in Dampier and Wick­ham tied into the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s wider aim of boost­ing health ser­vices in un­der-re­sourced re­gional ar­eas, and pri­mary care of­fered by GPs mak­ing for the most cru­cial step.

“This will build health­ier com­mu­ni­ties all across WA, as well as stop re­gional res­i­dents from hav­ing to make costly trips down to Perth or en­ter the hos­pi­tal sys­tem,” she said.

“If we can re­duce num­bers of peo­ple en­ter­ing hos­pi­tals across the state we will be free­ing up valu­able re­sources to ad­dress other is­sues and build stronger com­mu­ni­ties.”

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