Curtin University has secured more than $5 million to refurbish and provide innovative healthcare solutions at its public clinics.
The funding has been granted by Health Workforce Australia (HWA), an Australian Government initiative.
Soon to be known collectively as the Curtin Health and Wellness Clinics, the clinics offer public consultation for a variety of health conditions including stuttering, tinnitus, musculoskeletal problems and psychological counselling.
Professor Clare Pollock, Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health Sciences, said HWA’s multi-million investment would open up additional interprofessional clinical training places for health sciences students, provide modern facilities and services and ensure new models of healthcare are provided to the public.
“Clinical training places have always been an integral part of our students’ learning, however HWA’s funding will expand the number of clinics managed directly by Curtin and take more of our students out into the community,” Professor Pollock said.
“We are currently leading the way in Australia by teaching a new generation of health professionals a team-based approach to healthcare.
“This funding will enable us to further apply our unique healthcare solutions in the clinics in crucial areas such as aged care, chronic diseases, mental wellbeing and Indigenous health.
Professor Pollock said Curtin could address the predicted shortfalls in medical training places by offering alternative clinical training places for our medical students should the proposed School of Medicine be approved.
“The medical students would also be exposed to Curtin’s collaborative way of training future health specialists from day one for the benefit of the client,” she said.
She said Curtin’s interprofessional model was currently being pioneered at all clinics including the Uniting Church Homes Rowethorpe Village aged care facility in Bentley.
“At Rowethorpe clients are asked to fill in questionnaires on arrival, and based on their answers they are matched with the healthcare professional that best meets their needs that day. This can range from a nurse, to a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist,” she said.
“The feedback we are receiving from clients is very positive. They are getting quicker access to the right health professional, and their healthcare needs are being addressed promptly.”
Curtin has also had success with its interprofessional clinical placements at Challis Early Childhood Centre in Armadale.
“Health sciences students have been working together at Challis for quite some time. We have seen some outstanding results and are pleased that HWA’s funding will see a permanent interprofessional clinic established on site at Challis,” Professor Pollock said.
While the majority of HWA’s $5 million investment will be used to support student clinical placements, $1.4 million of the grant will be directed to refurbishing Curtin’s Bentley Campus clinics in order to provide more services to the members of the general public.