Five years ago, Grantville, the designated service center for the waterline and hinterland communities, had almost no essential services other than the CFA and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
In that time, due to the concerted efforts of community volunteers and state and federal funding, Grantville gained a bank, an ambulance station, and a nurse practitioner.
Grantville and district volunteers worked hard to agitate and bring these services to a previously under serviced area.
Once the Nurse Practitioner Service was established, setting up a pharmacy seemed like a good business proposition so Grantville got a chemist and once the chemist proved to be a viable business, Grantville got a medical practice.
The Grantville and District communities understand that it is not the fault of Bass Coast Shire Council that funding for the Nurse Practitioner Service ended.
However, the community also understands that councillors are there to support their communities if and where they can.
It is understood that as the third level of government, the council’s role is to assist in the provision of primary health care for their constituents by advocating to and working collaboratively with state and federal governments to secure funding and by developing municipal policy that will assist in the successful delivery of primary health care services.
In the case of the Nurse Practitioner Service in Grantville, the councillors have the capacity to move beyond fixed business principles and to focus on the needs of the community.
They have the opportunity to assist a much valued primary health service by providing the Nurse Practitioner Service with some rent relief at the Grantville Transaction Centre in the short term, until Federal and State funding is secured and the service becomes financially sustainable.
Many independent medical practitioner services receive some form of assistance from state and/or federal governments and council now has a cost effective opportunity to provide assistance to another highly valued primary health service.
One of the roles of the Grantville Transaction Centre is to provide the community with a place for essential services, including the delivery of primary health care.
We ask Bass Coast councillors to consider supporting the Nurse Practitioner Service in Grantville by providing some rent relief to enable the Nurse Practitioner service to continue.
This would ensure a choice of primary health services as well as an across the board bulk billing service for everyone.
Waterline Nurse Practitioner Action Group.