Boost for health care

BRIGHTON’S new medical centre, a jointly funded project by the Federal Government and Brighton Council, has been officially launched.

Brighton Mayor Tony Foster officiated at the launch along with Member for Lyons Dick Adams and State politicians.

From left, the centre’s practice manager, Annette Hirst,
Mayor Tony Foster and registered nurse and midwife
Joanna McShane.

Cr Foster said he was delighted that the Centre had become reality following the closure of the former medical facility two years ago.

“While local government is not responsible for the provision of medical services, as a Council we recognised that a clinic was vital to our community and we set about to attract another one,” Cr Foster said.

“The fact that there are already 3700 patients on the new centre’s books, in the short time that it has been operating, is testament to the vital importance of the centre to our community,” Cr Foster said.

“Council is grateful that it was successful in receiving a primary health care infrastructure  grant of $850,000 from the Federal Government to assist in building the facility.  Along with Council funding of $1 million, we have now been able to provide this very vital service for our community. Importantly, it means our community no longer has to travel up to 25 kilometres for medical treatment.”

The successful tenderer, Wilkins Construction, began work on the new facility  in January on the site at 1 Bedford Street and the building was open to patients on August 12.

“The aim was to establish a new health care facility for additional general practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals for our community.

The centre has medical consulting suites for GPs and allied health specialists.

It includes rooms for physiotherapists, podiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, diabetes education and a pathology collection service.

Chronic disease management programs are also being delivered from the centre. The general practice provides placements for both under-graduate and post-graduate medical education students.

Cr Foster said the centre would provide Brighton with a sound foundation for the delivery of comprehensive primary health care services into the future.

Brighton Council’s funding had support from Federal MPs and State MPs, both in government and in opposition with particular assistance from Labor Member for Lyons, Dick Adams and State Labor member for Lyons, Rebecca White.

Cr Foster thanked Dick Adams and Rebecca White for their active support in getting a resolution to the GP problem in Brighton.

“A primary health care facility in the geographical heart of our municipality is essential for the wellbeing of the community,” Cr Foster said.

“Brighton is becoming a place where people are choosing to live – generally land and housing are more affordable and developments, such as the Brighton Transport Hub, are opening up new job opportunities,” Cr Foster said.

“Council is working with community groups to broaden social and vocational activities. We provide a great opportunity for recreational activities including our walking tracks and sports ground facilities which are designed to encourage the community to keep fit.”

Cr Foster said the Brighton municipality had experienced the fastest population growth of the 29 municipalities in Tasmania and that trend will continue.

“It is projected that by the year 2027 our population will be greater than that of the City of Burnie.

“All the more reason to ensure that Brighton municipality has the best primary health care facility,” Cr Foster said.