Bidding high for GP super clinic

BIDS to run the $5 million GP super clinic promised for Bundaberg are heating up with Sydney-based Balance Healthcare set to enter the arena.

The medical group, which has already been awarded the tender for super clinics in Cairns and the Blue Mountains, is conducting a survey to determine what Bundaberg residents want from a facility.

“My interest is finding out what the community needs and whether we can meet those needs,” Balance Healthcare chief executive officer Kate Gunn said.

The survey asks questions such as what practitioners and services people would like to see included, whether people consider an after hours service important, and what services are deemed lacking in the area.

“We would consider late hours or 24 hours and mixed billing. It is all about fitting the services to the community,” Ms Gunn said.

Ms Gunn said it was still early days and the group would decide if it would formally apply to the federal government to run the clinic once they knew what the community felt was needed.

Ms Gunn said Balance Healthcare would be able to provide more information on how the centre would be run once the feedback had been received.

The NewsMail understands about five different groups are considering applying for the tender, including the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre, Bundaberg Health Promotions and GP Links Wide Bay.

The application process is the second round of tenders after the first attempt failed to provide a suitable bidder to run the clinic.

The clinic was first promised by Kevin Rudd during the 2007 election campaign.

Bundaberg Hospital Patient Support Group president Beryl Crosby said she had met with Balance last week and liked its proposal.

“We finally have someone who wants to ask the community what their needs are,” she said.

Mrs Crosby urged Bundaberg residents to speak up.

“I think it is really important the community has a say in how their GP super clinic is run,” she said.

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