A NEW medical superclinic aims to keep general practitioners in Ballarat with extra reasons to want to stay and develop their careers.
Doctors and Co chief executive officer Nazmi Msamih said the company's large multi-disciplinary clinic model strongly promotes teaching opportunities and a sense of community ownership.
He said this was proving successful in metropolitan and regional cities across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Mr Msamih said the new Wendouree clinic would be owned and operated by Ballarat doctors to strengthen community ties and doctor retention.
Doctor shortages and recruitment have become an increasing issue in regional Victorian cities and towns and Mr Msamih said it was important to find a model to combat this.
Ballarat Doctors and Co's sister clinic opened in Delacombe Town Centre a year ago and Mr Msamih said while it was small, the parent company did so knowing it would soon launch a superclinic in town.
We want to focus on providing quality and we feel this should be for everyone...not just for those who can afford private healthcareNazmi Msamih, Doctors and Co chief executive officer
The superclinic, on the former Masters hardware site in Learmonth Road, will open on June 21 with five full-time GPs and this is set to grow to 20 GPs, male and female, with 25 consultation rooms available.
"Some doctors will be from Ballarat, about 70 per cent will be recruited from outside Ballarat. It's very hard to find doctors, extremely difficult. We know there are a lot practising out there. We want the best and feel we can give them to our patients," Mr Msamih said.
"To keep them, GPs need a pace and environment for them to grow. At the end of the day, we want to look after our doctors because we know happy doctors are best for patients. We want them to be quite an active part in this community."
The superclinic will also feature a large vaccination and treatment room in the heart of the site.
Two dentists are also set to start from opening day, with access to their rooms via a separate entrance from within the centre redevelopment
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The clinic will also feature a physiotherapist, podiatrist, psychologist and mental health nurse.
This comes amid a shortage in child and adolescent mental health services for regional Victorian areas.
Three quarters of emergency interventions via Kids Helpline the past six months were for young Victorians aged 13 - 18 years of age, The Courier reported last week.
Mr Msamih said fine details in the clinic were important, for example, the psychologist will be based in a discreet edge of the clinic with close access to the foyer.
Consultation rooms are spacious with simply, "earthy" colours in what Mr Msamih said aimed to feel airy and open for those waiting.
The centre, open seven days a week, will also offer bulk billing.
"We want to focus on providing quality and we feel this should be for everyone," Mr Msamih said.
"Quality healthcare should not just for those who can afford private healthcare."
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