The family medicine clinic that was closed in February due to financial concerns will reopen, with staff members and patients back on site.
Key points:The Family Medical Centre in Brisbane is a non-profit organisation that provides free family medicine to anyone aged 14 and overThe centre was closed due to cost concernsThe clinic’s closure followed a review of the operation by the Queensland Health Service (QHS) in FebruaryThe clinic is expected to reopen by the end of MayThe clinic was closed after the Queensland Government announced that it would not be able to provide the clinic with funding because of financial difficulties.
The centre has a waiting list of about 1,400, and it was closed on March 25.
The Queensland Health Authority said the clinic would be closed after a review.
It is the first time that a Queensland Health service has closed a family medicine unit because of an emergency, with the Queensland Hospital Association acting as a guarantor.
Queensland Health Services CEO David Denton said the closure was due to an assessment by the QHS of the viability of the facility.
“The review identified significant costs that had to be met in order to ensure that the Queensland Family Medical Unit was financially viable for the foreseeable future,” Mr Denton wrote in a statement.
“These cost-related concerns were resolved in March and the Queensland Medical Centre is expected by the first quarter of this year to be operating at a profit.”
In the meantime, staff members have been provided with assistance and support to enable them to continue their work.
“Queenslanders deserve and can rely on their health care system to provide a high-quality service to all people regardless of their ability to pay.”
The clinic closed following the Queensland Premier’s call for the closure of the centre in February.
Queers could now travel to the clinic for freeFamily medicine centres have been operating in Brisbane for over a decade.
Quebec Health Services said that since the centre closed in March it has received about 1.5 million requests for free family medicines, and the number of people requesting free family health services has been stable.
The QHS said it was still reviewing the Queensland clinic and the reasons for the closing.
The Health Services Minister, Peter Dunne, said he was not aware of any other Queensland family medicine centres that had closed as a result of a similar issue.
“There’s no other Queensland centre that’s closed as result of this situation,” Mr Dunne said.
“We’ve seen some very good results from the operation and I’m sure there’s other clinics that have had problems in terms of a lack of money and staffing.”
The QFS had hoped that the clinic’s return would provide support to the staff and patients.
Mr Dunne also said that the centre would not reopen without the assistance of QHS.
“I don’t think there’s any other hospital that would consider that they could reopen without assistance from the Queensland Department of Health,” he said.
Queyslanders are entitled to free family medical care on a compassionate basis, if the family doctor is able to attend the hospital.