Patients in Cooktown are set to benefit from improved facilities at the Cooktown Medical Centre after it was selected for a Federal Government grant.
Member for Leichhardt, Mr Warren Entsch today welcomed the announcement that the practice would receive a $300,000 grant.
The practice is one of 67 that were offered grants across the nation, with a total of $13.1 million under the Government’s Rural General Practice Grants program.
“The grants will help provide better facilities and allow more doctors, nurses and other health workers to get hands-on training in general practices in rural and remote areas like Cooktown,” Mr Entsch said.
“This grant will enable Cooktown Medical Centre to expand its facilities and improve its service to locals.
“And, once the improvements are completed going to the doctor in Cooktown will be an even better experience for everybody,” Mr Entsch said.
Dr Des Hill from the Cooktown Medical Centre said the $300,000 grant will be used for extensions to give the practice extra space and better facilities.
“This will increase our ability to train GP registrars (trainees), medical and nursing students,” Dr Hill said.
“Hopefully, this will result in having more doctors living and working in regional areas long term.
“It will also help correct the imbalance of doctors in the cities compared to regional Australia,” Dr Hill said.
Assistant Minister for Health, David Gillespie, said practices would match the amount of their grants to undertake their projects.
Dr Gillespie said the projects could range from building new rooms to renovating existing rooms and buying computing technology or medical equipment.
“As well as medical graduates, they may be used for training overseas trained doctors, nurses, Aboriginal health workers or other health professionals employed in the practice,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Other grants will be used to create meeting rooms where patients can receive education about health conditions, such as diabetes, so they can take a more active role in managing their own health.
“The Government supports a strong primary care workforce that can meet Australia’s future healthcare needs.
“Improving access to doctors and other health professionals in rural and regional Australia is a priority for our long term national health plan.”