AN innovative approach to healthcare is winning over patients and professionals.
Just five months after opening its doors, Wodonga’s GP Super Clinic has been labelled a national leader in bringing together a range of health services.
Already GPs are complemented by pathology services, physiotherapists, a podiatrist, psychologist, dietitian and even a yoga room.
There is also access to public dentists, alcohol and drug counsellors along with mental health workers, but the plans are for yet more specialists and allied health professionals to be housed in the $8 million building on High Street.
Speech pathologist, medical imaging, naturopaths and chiropractors are all on the hit list.
Gateway community health’s GP Super Clinic project manager Sheryl Follett said the model was in its infancy, but its success was highlighted by the growing number of health professionals weighing up their options.
“We started with just one GP last September, we now have four and expect another to start in April,” she said.
“The success or acceptance is best measured by the fact that people are now coming to us looking for opportunities. They are wanting to find ways of participating in this integrated primary healthcare model — a team approach to helping people with complex chronic diseases.
“It means a GP can use the dietician and podiatrist to help in someone’s treatment for a disease like diabetes.”
Gateway Community Health chief executive Leonard Peady said the GP Super Clinic was run as a business model, to generate profits that were in turn directed into under-resourced programs.
“An example of that is a program with schools for adolescents at risk of mental health issues but who have not had an episode that would have qualified them for assistance otherwise,” Mr Peady said.
“But to be consistent with the idea that is a community service we want to get to the point where people can walk in and get to see a doctor, bulk-billed and then walk over to a specialist or allied health professional and get further help.”