Standing up for Canberra

GP Superclinics

Canberra is a wonderful example of how the GP superclinic program is not a one-size-fits-all service delivery model. Those of you who know Canberra know very well that Canberrans tend not to cross the lake all that often— in Canberra you are either a northsider or a southsider.

So if we had a superclinic on one side of the lake only, it would have served only half of the population. Labor's GP superclinic program allowed for this. It allowed for the ACT superclinic to be designed so that it best suits the needs of the Canberra community. The ACT GP superclinic, which is run by Ochre Health, operates in a hub-and-spokes model. While a brand new superclinic—the hub—opened its doors at the University of Canberra on 17 February this year, in my electorate the spoke superclinic has been operating at Calwell, in Tuggeranong, since July 2011.

The Calwell practice has eight GPs, with room to increase to ten; two registered nurses; and a number of visiting allied health services, such as dieticians, speech pathologists and audiologists. The practice serves individuals and families in the Tuggeranong community. Pensioners, Health Care Card holders and children under 16 years of age are offered a bulk billing service. Those opposite have spent every question time this week criticising the GP superclinic model. Well, it is operating beautifully right here in Canberra; all you need to do is step outside this building and ask someone. If Minister Dutton still does not believe this, I invite him to come with me to Calwell to see its success firsthand.

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