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New Walk-in Centre provides free healthcare in the heart of Gungahlin

By Glynis Quinlan 4 September 2018 7

The new $2.9 million Gungahlin Walk-in Centre was officially opened on Monday by Michael Petterson MLA (left), ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris and the new CEO of Canberra Hospital, Janet Anderson. Photo: Supplied.

Gungahlin families will be able to access free healthcare in the heart of the town centre following the opening of Canberra’s third nurse-led Walk-in Centre this week.

ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris and Michael Pettersson MLA officially opened the new $2.9 million Gungahlin Walk-in Centre on Ernst Cavanagh Street on Monday (3 September).

The centre is located next to the Community Health Centre and offers free health care for non-urgent injuries or illnesses such as coughs and colds, cuts and abrasions, muscle pains, sprains or even minor burns.

Ms Fitzharris said the Walk-in Centres fulfil a strong community need, with around 40,000 people presenting to the two existing centres in Belconnen and Tuggeranong every year.

She said that planning is also under way for two additional centres in Weston Creek and the Inner North.

“Walk-in Centres are trusted by patients, really popular in the community, and I know people across Gungahlin will be really excited to know there is now one close to where they live,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“Our Walk-in Centres provide free health care closer to home and ensure people with minor injuries or illnesses are seen quickly without visiting the Emergency Department.

“Gungahlin is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, with its population nearly doubling in this decade. With the population booming, this Walk-in Centre will be a major contributor to improving the choice of public health services available for residents in this region.”

All Walk-in Centres are led by a team of highly skilled Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Practice Nurses who work closely with local GPs and primary health providers.

“With the extended hours of Walk-in Centres, and the fact they are open on weekends, they also offer another option for people who might otherwise go to an Emergency Department,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“Walk-in Centres also have excellent connections with the general practice community because nurses provide referrals and updates back to a patient’s GP to enable them to continue providing treatment and advice for ongoing health and medical needs.

“We are committed to delivering person-centred, safe and effective care with the appropriate health infrastructure to meet the future needs of our community. Delivering more Walk-in Centres across our city is a key part of this.”

The Gungahlin Walk-in Centre is open from 7.30 am to 10 pm every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

It is co-located with the Gungahlin Community Health Centre at 57 Ernst Cavanagh Street, Gungahlin.

For more information on Walk-in Centres, please visit: http://health.act.gov.au/our-services/walk-centre

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7 Responses to
New Walk-in Centre provides free healthcare in the heart of Gungahlin
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Ian 8:51 pm 04 Sep 18

The big question remains, are they are cost effective way of delivering the service? The evidence we’ve seen to date suggests not.

Narcobear 6:01 pm 04 Sep 18

utter waste of money. but the alternatives are to give the money to canberra hospital or calvary, which are even worse.

Canberra is crying out for some first world healthcare

Garfield 3:49 pm 04 Sep 18

There is no such thing as free healthcare, someone always pays and in the case of these centres its the ACT taxpayer. They’re costing more than twice as much per patient visit as a GP (about $200 according to another RiotACT article) and can’t provide the same level of service.

    JC 8:02 pm 04 Sep 18

    And if those people rocked up at emergency at the hospital how much would it cost? Because that is where many would end up. They wouldn’t be paying money to see a GP.

    Garfield 11:06 pm 04 Sep 18

    Answer me this, if a GP practice can see patients at $80-90 per visit, and the types of ailments that can be dealt with by the nurse led walk in clinics are relatively minor as there are no doctors, why couldn’t the ACT government contract out the delivery of the service to a GP clinic where half the cost could be saved straight up and the feds would kick in another third of what’s left through Medicare?

    JC 8:34 pm 06 Sep 18

    Fair point.

    The thing of course is there are already free or should I say no out of pocket cost doctors around anyway. The real issue is keeping people away from emergency rooms who can be better and more cheaply assisted elsewhere.

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