‘The impetus for the redesign is to ensure our Macarthur community continues to have a vibrant, quality community health centre; a health centre that will service the needs of our community well into the future,’ says MCH manager Joe-Anne Nicholas.
Caring for the needs of locals since 1960 when community fundraising allowed for the construction of an eight-bed hospital to provide midwifery, theatre and general hospital services, Macarthur Community Health ultimately came about years later when community needs changed. Today, MCH is the heart and soul of the district, providing a wide range of services including a regular GP clinic, maternal and child health service, adult day centre, invenue family day care centre and allied health services such as podiatry, diabetes education, dietician, a social worker and health promotion.
Nine permanent staff, 35 registered volunteers and the services of the Port Fairy General Practice’s four-days-a-week GP clinic are the centre’s lifeblood. And they’re kept very busy. In 2014-15, MCH recorded 1,885 community health nursing contacts, 294 planned activity group sessions, 1,357 adult day centre session attendances, had 957 volunteer contacts and our district nurses travelled almost 30,000 kilometres (between Macarthur, Branxholme, Minhamite, Hawkesdale and Orford) to pay 1,638 house and farm visits to rurally isolated clients.
The redesign, expected to cost in the vicinity of $350,000, is being financed by South West Healthcare and generous local benefactors committed to ensuring Macarthur Community Health remains an integral part of their community.
The redesign will include:
The construction is expected to take approximately four months. During this time all existing services will continue to be provided. The only thing that’s changed is carpark access for community members, doctors, patients and visitors. This is now via Russell Street and includes access for people with disabilities. Meantime, Ardonachie-Street access to the centre’s invenue family day care centre and adult day centre hasn’t changed.
Anyone too excited to wait until the job’s completion in September is welcome to view the redesign plans on show at Macarthur Community Health.
PHOTO (from left): SWH Macarthur Community Health manager Joe-Anne Nicholas, administrative support officer Leanne Young, board director Sharon Muldoon, life governor Isobel McPherson and registered nurse Winnie Yates in what was once the hospital's delivery room (where dozens of locals were born, including all of Sharon's siblings). It's one of the spaces to be modernised during the redevelopment.