STAWELL - In a major historic move, Stawell Regional Health has purchased the Stawell Medical Centre.
For more than 50 years, Stawell Medical Centre has provided vital medical services to Stawell Hospital and the Macpherson Smith Nursing Home.
Stawell Regional Health Board Chair, Ross Hatton, said the key driver of the purchase was to consolidate medical services between the hospital and medical centre to create a long-term sustainable model.
“Right now, there are limited opportunities for public hospitals to increase service provision,” Mr Hatton said.
“The purchase means that Stawell Regional Health will have a closer link with the medical centre and will give us greater flexibility to introduce new, integrated models of care for even better patient outcomes.”
Mr Hatton said Stawell Regional Health would build on its long history with the medical centre as it moved forward into the new, exciting phase.
“Patients can be assured that the Stawell Medical Centre branding and reputation will be upheld and any changes will be implemented with sensitivity and care,” he said.
“Permanent staff will be offered ongoing employment and Dr Andrew Cunningham and other doctors at the centre have indicated they are staying at the practice.”
Mr Hatton said because the medical centre provided vocational training for General Practitioners, this opened the door to developing new, innovative teaching models for doctors.
“This will further strengthen our relationships with universities and help us with the recruitment of new doctors to Stawell,” he said. Dr Andrew Cunningham, who plans to stay on for at least another three years, said: “The business purchase by Stawell Regional Health is the best step towards maintaining quality general practice and specialist health services in Stawell.”
Stawell Regional Health chief executive officer, Rohan Fitzgerald, said the purchase of the Stawell Medical Centre fits in with the organisation’s business model, to create a fully integrated health care service for the provision of whole of life care.
“We are looking at the entire range of services provided, including acute care and aged care,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“The Stawell Medical Centre offers a really good fit with the business that we operate. The purchase will allow us to integrate all care services into one overall health service delivery model.
“This will allow us to provide better health services for all our residents.”
Mr Fitgerald said the evolution of integrated health care had been occurring for a few years and the model of care had been constantly changing.
“What this means in reality is we can bring together General Practitioners, Allied Health professionals and other health professionals, to ensure the care delivered is far more co-ordinated,” he said.
“It enables us to look at prevention, rather than at the other end of the health care spectrum. This is a really important component of what we are trying to achieve.
“The Stawell Medical Centre has been seen for a very long time as a leader of health care service provision. We are very mindful of that and believe this integration will greatly strengthen the provision of health services to Stawell and district residents.”