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Orbost Medical Clinic will receive more than $13,000 from the Federal Government to improve the diagnosis and treatment of its patients.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester today welcomed an announcement the medical clinic would be able to buy much-needed, modern medical equipment.

“This grant will enable new equipment to be bought for the benefit of patients from Orbost and the surrounding areas who depend on the clinic to meet their health care needs,” Mr Chester said.

“Orbost Medical Clinic is a teaching clinic that trains a number of young medical students every year. Improved equipment will enhance the learning of these students as they get a taste of general practice in a rural area.”

“I hope their positive experiences in Orbost will mean that when they are qualified they are more likely to decide to stay in Gippsland or join a practice in another rural community.”

Orbost Regional Health Chief Executive Officer Mrs Meryn Pease said new machines would be purchased to replace the clinic’s current equipment, some of which was 30 years old.

“We’ll be getting a new machine to test lung function, another that can test blood flow to limbs, a modern machine to test hearing, plus a wearable device that can test a patient’s blood pressure over a 24-hour period,” Mrs Pease said.

“These machines will be easier and faster to use and we will have more confidence in the accuracy of the test results. We’ll also be buying six electric beds and a number of electric chairs, which will be useful for our patients with mobility difficulties.”

“This grant is hugely beneficial as it enables us to buy state-of-the-art medical equipment to help us service those who need us in our community.”

The practice is one of two in Gippsland and 67 nationally to be offered grants totalling $13.1 million under the Government’s Rural General Practice Grants program.

Mallacoota has received $300,000 under the same program to build a new medical centre. 

Assistant Minister for Health Dr 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.”

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