Funding boost for medical services

Augusta Clinic was announced last week as one of several medical practices across the region to share in $300,000 of Federal healthcare funding.

The rural general practice grants program allocated funds to Augusta Clinic, Busselton Medical Practice and Sunshine Medical Centre, also in Busselton, to improve health services through additional infrastructure and increased training for health practitioners.

The Augusta Clinic’s manager was not available for comment, but Forrest MHR Nola Marino’s office confirmed it had received the biggest slice of funding pie at $200,000.

Mrs Marino said the boost would give workers more access to hands-on training.

“The health workers will be able to attend to patients and when they are fully qualified, are more likely to decide to stay in the region or another rural community,” she said.

Busselton Medical Practice received more than $16,000 to fund renovation within the practice.

Practice manager Jill Pontague said renovations would include a dedicated training room for the use of GP registrars and medical students to enhance their training experience. “An important part of increasing consultation skills is to have a well set-up room with everything to hand,” she said.

“Here they will have a home base to store and utilise training resources that we provide.

“This will include the use of audio-visual equipment to give feedback upon their performance in suitable consultations.”

Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie said improving access to doctors and health professionals in rural and regional areas was a priority and practices would match their grants to undertake projects.

Source: Augusta Margaret River Times.