AN aging population and the rise of diabetes has prompted Gateway Health to set up a podiatry clinic in Wodonga.
The clinic, which opened yesterday, will provide a diabetes educator on Mondays and a podiatry service for half days on Monday and Tuesday.
The clinic is the result of a merger of Ovens and King Community Health Service and Gateway Health from July 1.
Clients previously had to seek podiatry services at Wangaratta or find another practitioner.
Gateway Health chief Leonard Peady said he hoped the new service would help people take better care of their health.
“We are trying to provide as many services as we can from the one location,” he said.
“Clients referred to other providers or specialists often don’t take up that referral.
“By providing it all in the one centre, patients are more likely to make an appointment.”
Wodonga podiatrist Eryn Phillips, who set up the clinic after commuting to Wangaratta for a year, said Gateway Health promoted bulk billing for eligible clients with a referral.
“Many private practices charge a gap on top of a referral. We strive to bulk bill and have minimal out-of-pocket expenses,” she said.
Ms Phillips said that with an ageing population and diabetes on the rise, podiatry was becoming an “extremely necessary profession”.
“This clinic could attract more podiatrists to the region,” she said.
The opening comes ahead of October’s National Foot Health month.