More than 70 people were treated for urgent illnesses and injuries at IMPACT Community Services’ Pop Up Care Clinic in Agnes Water over the Easter Long Weekend.
Over four days, Dr Dani Buchanan and nurses Pamela Mackie and Kristin James treated a wide range of urgent care needs including wounds requiring sutures, respiratory complaints, ear aches, dental issues, possible broken bones, vomiting and shortness of breath.
One patient required transfer to Bundaberg and subsequent transfer to Brisbane for specialist care, with another patient requiring a cardiac review.
IMPACT Community Health Service Practice Manager Pamela Mackie said the Pop Up Care Clinic was a “resounding success” and was overwhelmed by the support from the community and the positive feedback from those treated.
She said the Pop Up Care Clinic was part of a wider initiative to assess and address the medical needs of the Discovery Coast community, and to work towards providing accessible, affordable and appropriate medical care to residents and visitors of the region.
“Our focus is now to analyse the data that we collected during the clinic so we can look for ways to improve access to health care in our region on a more permanent basis,” Ms Mackie said.
“A number of people who attended the clinic indicated that if the clinic had not been available they would have suffered through their condition or simply have done nothing and hoped they got better rather than travel to Bundaberg or Gladstone 1.5 hours drive away.”
Nurse Kristin James said: “There was a fantastic show of community support and by the number of people who attended it proves the demand for future clinics to be held.”
IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O’Shea said the feedback from those who attended the clinic highlighted the need for such services to continue in the region, as well as the inequalities in access to healthcare between urban communities and their rural counterparts.
“As an organisation, IMPACT Community Services is dedicated to our mission of improving lives, and part of this is providing accessible and appropriate medical care to residents and visitors to the Discovery Coast region,” she said.
Mrs O’Shea added that local residents and visitors to the Discovery Coast expressed an outpouring of gratitude for the care provided by the Pop Up Care Clinic over the long weekend. One anonymous care recipient wrote: “What an answer to prayer for the long-suffering population of this district.” Another added: “Thank you for offering this amazing service. There are limited services in Agnes/1770 and even if you are unwell it’s a two to three week wait to be seen by a doctor. The community really need this added service.”
The Pop Up Care Clinic was made possible by funding from Country to Coast QLD (CCQ) PHN, and was undertaken as part of the wider Discovery Coast Model of Care Project, a major strategic project being funded by IMPACT Community Services to assess how to best meet the medical needs of the growing population in the Discovery Coast region.
The project aims to reduce the demand on emergency resources, support General Practice, expand allied and community health services and to provide residents with appropriate, affordable and accessible primary health care.