Minister officially opens Gladstone’s GP Super Clinic
LEGAL battles and flood devastation may have shrouded hopes for the completion of Gladstone's first GP Super Clinic.
But the one-stop primary health care facility was officially opened on Wednesday by Federal Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek.
Practice director Dr Evan Jones held back tears as he thanked fellow director Dr John Bird and practice manager Jodie Myers for helping get the project off the ground.
Ms Plibersek, who visited the centre a month ago, said she was glad to see a 2007 Labor promise by Chris Trevor come to fruition.
"It is wonderful to see the clinic being used," Ms Plibersek said.
The praise comes a week after Dr Bird revealed the clinic had been turning away patients due to a high demand of appointments on the first day.
He said 700 calls were made to the practice on the first day, equating to 100 calls per hour.
At the time Dr Bird said all Gladstone medical facilities were under similar pressures.
Ms Plibersek said she would welcome an extension to the current clinic if needed in the future.
The development of the GP Super Clinic has come a long way since its was approved for development in 2011.
Stockland launched legal action in the Planning and Environment Court in September 2011, before resolving a traffic light issue with the Windmill Centre last year.
The construction of the centre was also delayed following the January floods this year.
Ms Plibersek also hit back at claims made by state health minister Lawrence Springborg who called on the federal minister to focus on primary health care facilities instead of hospitals.
It's true that the state government runs the hospitals day to day, but they aren't doing a very good job at the moment.
"It's about time the federal minister for health stops talking about hospitals that aren't her responsibility, but the state's responsibility, which are running quite well," Mr Springborg said after Monday's Community Cabinet meeting.
Ms Plibersek responded by saying she wasn't afraid to voice concern about the state hospital system when needed.
"It's true that the state government runs the hospitals day to day, but they aren't doing a very good job at the moment," she said.
"And a fair whack of the money is ours, so I think I have a right to express an opinion when things aren't up to scratch."
The launch of the GP Super Clinic comes just days before the Gladstone Central Medical Centre unveils an expansion to its Dawson Hwy practice.
The expansion boasts new consulting rooms, with the scope of attracting more GPs to the region.
GP Super Clinic
- 11 general practitioners.
- Six allied health professionals.
- 78,000 patients visited the temporary clinic.
- After hours care.
- Ambulance access.
- MRI and CT scans.
- Diabetes educator.
- Skin specialist.