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Government Seeks Public Input on Super Clinics

As the Australian Department of Health and Ageing proceeds with the implementation of General Practitioner (GP) Super Clinics across the country, the government has requested public input to ensure that the super clinics offer services that match community needs. GP Super Clinics are intended to improve access to care for underserved communities and to build a strong primary health care system. The clinics focus on health promotion and illness prevention, as well as more efficient coordination between private GPs, community health settings, and other state government health services.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has scheduled community consultations in the first quarter of 2011 and invited 13 communities to participate. Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon believes that there is no “one-size-fits-all,” and that residents and health professionals can collaboratively design the best GP Super Clinic for their area.

The Gillard government allotted AUS$370.2 million in 2010 for 28 new GP Super Clinics, as well as upgrades to approximately 425 general practices, primary care and community health services, and Aboriginal Medical Services. This initiative followed a commitment of AUS$280 million in 2007 to construct 36 GP Super Clinics over five years; 27 of these are either in operation, in the initial stages of delivering care, or still under construction.

GP Super Clinics are controversial with doctors’ groups such as the Australian Medical Association, which argue that, in some locations, the clinics simply compete with GPs or draw GPs away from existing practices, with no benefit to the community.


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