Dampier patients get new GP clinic
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.”