CRESWICK residents will have better access to high quality medical care following the official opening of the expanded Creswick Medical Centre.
Ballarat MP Catherine King officially opened the facility yesterday following a $547,000 upgrade.
The upgrade has added five new consulting rooms, two treatment rooms, two waiting rooms, a reception and administration area and amenity rooms to improve the comfort of staff and patients.
Ms King, Parliamentary Secretary for Health in the Gillard government, said patients would be able to see a doctor or nurse sooner and the Creswick community would be better placed to attract more health care professionals, reducing the need for travel to Ballarat.
“I’m pleased that Creswick Medical Services has been able to employ an additional doctor as well as two GP registrars and three junior doctors,” Ms King said.
“This will have an immediate impact, with local people now able to see a health professional much sooner than they would have in the past.”
She praised the clinic’s founders and staff, and the various medical care partners from across the Ballarat region.
Chronic disease management will also be a focus for the centre, which is currently seeking to recruit more practice nurses to help with health assessments.
The centre’s Dr James Maher said the upgrade would lead to better health outcomes for many patients.
“We had a lot of help from the community and the Hepburn Shire and the RSL next door which has been great,” he said.
“There are plenty of practices which are incorporating pharmacies, and others doing much the same thing with allied health and provision of services.”
Ms King later joined with the local Rotary Club to urge people to take advantage of opportunities for bowel cancer screening.
She said bowel cancer remained one of the most common forms of cancer in Australia with around 80 Australians dying every week from the disease.
“Bowel cancer can be treated successfully if detected in its early stages.
“But currently fewer than 40 per cent of bowel cancers are detected early,” Ms King said.
During the month of June, Rotary is conducting its national Bowelscan program through which people can buy a test kit from chemists, return the kit and have it tested.