LEONGATHA’S new $4 million Integrated Primary Care Centre, co-located on the Leongatha hospital site, to provide medical care in partnership with the Leongatha Medical Group and a range of other primary health services, is charging ahead.
According to Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS) Director of Nursing, Vicki Farthing, the project is on track for its opening date later in the year.
“We’re delighted with the progress of the new IPCC,” Ms Farthing said, while attending an afternoon tea for nurses and midwives last week.
“It’s on track for its opening date in October this year,” she said.
Meanwhile, GSHS is also embracing technology in a big way, joining a partnership with Latrobe Regional Health to provide medical consultations to patients and staff under the new Telehealth project funded by a $10 million allocation from the State Government’s Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund.
The new initiative is designed to deliver emergency medical advice online and afterhours to remote South Gippsland hospitals; including Yarram, Foster (South Gippsland) and Leongatha.
“Yarram went live last week, Foster goes live on June 5 and Leongatha in July,” said Ms Farthing.
“The service, providing an online hook-up with ED doctors at Latrobe Regional, will help relieve on-call shortages at those hospitals.”
Doctors at LRH will be able to work with local nursing staff to care for patients, prescribing and endorsing required medications, and even issuing prescriptions remotely for patients.
The Minister for Health Jill Hennessy announced funding for the Gippsland project and for others across the State in December and they are being rolled out now.
“With growing pressure on our health system it’s vital we find new ways of doing things if we want to keep pace with demand and drive improvement across our health system.”
Areas in the state’s northwest are receiving similar support while Better Care Victoria is also being utilised in Melbourne to improve services to cancer patients, the elderly and to speed up the process of emergency care.