Regional News

Brand new health clinic now open in remote Kimberley community

New clinic offers culturally appropriate and secure care for Aboriginal patients Additions include private consult rooms, a resuscitation bay and pathology services Clinic includes family room with area set aside for elders to prepare bush medicines

Residents of the Wangkatjungka community in the remote Kimberley are now able to access important health services in a brand new clinic. The $3.66 million expanded Wangkatjungka Health Centre is a fit-for-purpose and culturally secure clinic that will transform the way patients access hospital treatment and clinic appointments.

It includes a separate emergency resuscitation bay with its own pathology space, three consult rooms, a family group room and separate waiting areas for men and women. There is also a purpose-built ambulance bay and ramp at the front of the building, plus future capacity in the design for home dialysis treatment.

The family group room will enable families to come together to discuss healthcare treatment, and includes a sink and bench to allow for the preparation of bush medicine by elders and family members.

The layout has been carefully planned so that men and women can be seen and treated in completely separate spaces, if required, for cultural security.

The clinic is open Monday to Thursday from 10am-2pm, with registered nurses providing acute and emergency treatment along with regular appointments for maternal and child health, immunisations, sexual and reproductive health, chronic conditions and other services.

Visiting community health nurses and GPs provide weekly and fortnightly clinics for a range of important services including mental health, child health and midwifery. Wangkatjungka’s regular visiting dental, paediatric, renal and ear, nose and throat clinics will also be held at the new centre.

The Wangkatjungka Health Centre is part of a $22.2 million project to upgrade eight Aboriginal clinics in some of the most remote communities in Western Australia. Clinics have already been completed in Bayulu, Noonkanbah, Mulan and Billiluna in the Kimberley and Yandeyarra in the Pilbara. The Jigalong and Looma clinic upgrades are expected to be completed in 2019.

Health Minister Roger Cook said:

“The new clinic is a modern and welcoming place for the local Aboriginal community to receive healthcare, and I am pleased to hear that the first patients have already been through the doors.

“We know that providing healthcare that offers appropriate cultural security to Aboriginal patients encourages people to seek treatment when they otherwise might not. This results in short and long-term health benefits.”

Kimberley MLA Josie Farrer said:

“The local WA Country Health Service team has worked closely with the Wangkatjungka community on every aspect of the design and fit-out of this new health centre to ensure the community will feel safe, secure, respected and welcome.

“I am pleased the residents in this remote community have a new fit-for-purpose and culturally secure clinic, it will transform the way they access healthcare close to home.”

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