Budja’s mobile clinic van came into operation in mid-July 2019 and is now servicing our Aboriginal Community across Ararat Rural City and Northern Grampians Shire, including Ararat, Stawell, St Arnaud and many small towns.
The service was established following extensive consultations with Community members and identifying their needs
To March 2020, there have been a total of 107 episodes of care delivered to the Budja Community, with 75 services provided to children, including eye and hearing tests. Pleasingly, it has attracted 34 new Aboriginal patients to access Budja’s services. There were also a total of 78 subsequent consultations with our other health professionals at the medical centre. Patient referrals to mainstream health and medical specialist services has also increased. The mobile clinic also has a significant health education and promotion role.
Significant grants were obtained from both Indigenous Affairs, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and through Deakin Rural Health (a University Department of Rural Health) to make this happen.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 Census indicated that our Indigenous population grew by 69.8% from 2011, one of the highest in Victoria.
Services available include hearing, optometry, general health checks and health promotion and education. Services provided depend on Community and individual need. Services are provided by our professional Registered Nurses and other health professionals, and at times by our General Practitioner.
Services are available to be provided at Primary and Secondary Schools, Kinders and Child Care Centres, Neighbourhood Houses, Community events, associated with Community Health Centres and in the home.
This service is taking an innovative approach to health service delivery to our 450 Indigenous Community geographically dispersed community across 10,000 square kilometres.
Ongoing evaluation of the service, including assessing patient needs, responses and measuring health outcomes over time, will be undertaken in by a committee chaired and led by Budja Board and CEO, in conjunction with Deakin Rural Health.
Academic Advisor (Research and Clinical Training)
Associate Professor Vin Versace is an Academic Advisor to Budja. Vin is Director of Deakin Rural Health (a University Department of Rural Health funded through the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program) and has played a key role in securing funding for the mobile clinic and other local initiatives in Aboriginal health. He provides independent research and evaluation expertise – this work has included input in to the operation and evaluation plans for the mobile clinic in partnership with Budja, and the ongoing co-supervision of research students working with the health service. Vin and his team at Deakin Rural Health are actively involved in facilitating and coordinating local clinical placements – the next generation of the Aboriginal health workforce. This is a multidisciplinary approach and includes clinical placements for nursing, allied health, and medical students – an experience that includes Aboriginal Cultural Competency Training designed and delivered on site by Budja.
To obtain further information or for bookings ring Budja Medical reception on 5356 4751.