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One-stop clinic closer

A new medical centre is coming to the Bundaberg Plaza. Practice manager Karen Connelly and Tracy Warren hope to open it in April.
A new medical centre is coming to the Bundaberg Plaza. Practice manager Karen Connelly and Tracy Warren hope to open it in April. Rob Barich

BUNDABERG Plaza is one step closer to being transformed into a medical centre after the property managers visited the centre to help finalise planning.

Angaet Property Management property manager Tracy Warren visited the shopping complex late last week with We Care Healthcare practice manager Karen Connelly to gauge the feeling in the community.

“We’ve been getting a lot of support towards our individual centre and have been asking for letters of support,” Ms Connelly said.

The medical centre will run in competition to the federal government’s proposed $5 million GP super clinic.

The centre will have five GPs, some allied health professionals and is in negotiations to also include x-ray facilities.

“We will aim to open 8am to 10pm, seven days a week and have bulk-billing facilities,” Ms Connelly said.

The medical centre is expected to open in April.

Ms Connelly said during their time in Bundaberg they have had a mixed reaction from practising GPs.

“We are finding that people are supportive, but we are also finding that the people who have put their hand up for the GP super clinic have been wary,” she said.

Ms Connelly, who has worked in medical centres for 15 years, said they were also going to do all they could to work in with the town’s current medical facilities.

“We have been talking to all the hospitals to find out how we can work in with them as to out-patient care and after-hours care,” she said.

“We just want to provide the best patient care we can.”

The clinic will be built in already vacant shops in the complex, with all the current tenants to stay in the centre.

Ms Connelly said Bundaberg appeared to be a logical location for their next medical clinic.

“Bundaberg is a growing area and there is an obvious need for more quality healthcare,” she said.

Ms Connelly said she realised there would be a few challenges ahead in setting up the clinic.

“We are confident to the degree that we will do everything in our utmost power to make sure this takes off,” she said.

Ms Connelly and Ms Warren’s trip came the same days as Australian Medical Association Queensland president Mason Stevenson slammed the federal government’s GP super clinic plans.

“If a super clinic has the potential to cater for an unmet need, then we would certainly support it because it would benefit Queensland patients,” Dr Stevenson said.

“But in the majority of cases, super clinics are being built in areas where there are already sufficient medical services available.”

Dr Stevenson called for more funding to support GPs working in medical centres.


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