More people in Melbourne will be able to access appropriate medical care when and where they need it thanks to grants to local health providers from Melbourne Primary Care Network (MPCN).
13 health organisations received over $800,000 in grants, which will directly improve access to medical care outside of normal business hours by increasing existing services and helping new services enter the market.
The 13 recipients are:
- Complete Family Care Medical Centre, Newport: GP services to open on Sundays 9:00am-4:00pm.
- Cragieburn Central Medical Centre, Cragieburn: Opening hours to be extended to 9pm weekdays.
- Darebin Community Health, East Reservoir: Planning for a new after hours medical clinic.
- Dianella Community Health, Broadmeadows: GP Super Clinic to open weeknights and weekends.
- Gisborne Pharmacy, Gisborne: Pharmacy services to be available until 8pm Wednesday and Thursday.
- Hillcrest Healthcare, Broadmeadows: GP and other services extended to 11pm weeknights.
- Modern Medical, Spotswood: New after hours clinic to operate until midnight seven days a week.
- Macedon Ranges Health, Gisborne: Allied health services to operate until 8pm Wednesday and Thursday.
- Merri Community Health Services, Fawkner: Soon-to-be launched refugee health clinic to open after hours.
- Youth Projects, CBD: Living Room homeless health and support service to open Saturdays 1:00-7:00pm.
- cohealth, Moonee Ponds: GP and nursing services to open until 8pm Tuesdays.
- SIA Medical, Essendon: Immunisation, dental, screening and other services to be available after hours.
- Caroline Springs GP After Hours Clinic, Caroline Springs: to open until midnight seven days a week.
Modern Medical has just opened a dedicated afters hours clinic opposite Spotswood, offering bulk-billed GP services during the evenings Sunday to Friday.
Modern Medical Operations Manager Rushan Hewawasam said a $100,000 grant from MPCN was crucial to finally getting the after hours clinic open after being planned over a decade ago.
Giving patients better access to care in their own community and taking strain off local hospital services are key drivers for the new clinic.
“We’ve looked at the area for some time and there’s limited after hours services, and when we investigated a couple of years ago we found that a lot of people we’re accessing hospitals for low category care after hours, particularly at Williamstown Hospital,” Mr Hewawasam said.
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter said having accessible after hours care is crucial for healthy communities.
“People don’t stop needing health care just because it’s in the evening, on a weekend or a public holiday, and if local services aren’t available or aren’t known about then hospital emergency rooms become the only option,” A/Prof Carter said.
“Waiting around in hospital to be treated for issues that could be dealt with by a GP isn’t good for patients, hospitals or the health system as a whole. With these grants more people will be able to get the right care in the right place at the right time – within their own community.”