THE 24/7 minor injury and illness clinic on Phillip Island saved a man’s life last week.
On Thursday, a local attended the Phillip Island Health Hub after experiencing a sore throat.
It seemed harmless enough at the time, but the man knew something wasn’t quite right.
And the doctors agreed – getting him on the first ambulance out of the area and to Casey to undergo emergency surgery.
He is just one of more than 1700 people who have been treated at the clinic since the 24/7 care centre opened on December 21 last year.
It’s averaging at least 25 patients a day.
It demonstrates the around-the-clock care has long been needed on the island, according to Phillip Island Medical and Health Action Group chair Peter Paul.
The next step, he says, is a hospital.
It’s understood an announcement will be made soon to kickstart the consultation phase for a community hospital on Phillip Island.
‘Soon’ isn’t months. It’s weeks.
The hospital’s expected to include day surgery, allied health services, a pharmacy, renal dialysis, diagnostic imaging and pathology services, dental services, family violence support; and maternal and child health services.
But in the meantime, a section of the hub will be renovated to make way for all sorts of equipment that’ll be used to care for even more patients.
On Friday, during a visit to the hub, health minister Jenny Mikakos said the government heard strongly last year that 24/7 urgent care was needed on the island.
It was the first election commitment the State Government delivered.
“I met a patient earlier who said he is alive today because of the care here,” Ms Mikakos said.
“He had a life-threatening condition. It was identified by the staff here and he went straight to Casey for surgery.
“This place, quite literally, saves lives. But we’re going to do more.
“We’re going to upgrade a section of the hub to bring in more equipment to cater for a broad range of patients.”
The care service has seen a doctor and nurse stationed at the centre night and day providing care for minor injuries and illnesses.
Most presentations have been visitors with conditions including ear aches, minor wounds and back pain.
“Every local and visitor who comes to soak up the sun and surf in this beautiful part of the world deserves peace of mind that the very best care is just around the corner and this fantastic 24-hour facility is doing just that.”
She also praised the work of Bass Coast Health staff, the Bass Coast Shire Council and others for their work in getting the care service up and running quickly.
It’s also understood to have significantly reduced pressure on the Wonthaggi Hospital and its dedicated staff.
Concept work is also well underway for a $115 million upgrade of the Wonthaggi Hospital, announced last year.
It’ll feature a bigger and better emergency department, plus new and refurbished operating theatres and inpatient rooms.
When finished, it will treat an extra 26,000 emergency patients per year.
Health hub ‘saves lives’