26 September 2023

New mobile health clinic born in Civic

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The Territory’s purpose-built mobile health outreach clinic for vulnerable Canberrans is now providing healthcare at the Early Morning Centre in Civic.

Announcing the service expansion, Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said bringing the Pathways to Assistance and Treatment (PAT) outreach clinic to the Centre would allow people experiencing homelessness to access several essential support services in one location.

“We know vulnerable Canberrans, including those experiencing homelessness, often have complex and underlying health concerns and yet are not regularly engaged with primary and preventive health care,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“This can be due to financial barriers, difficulty in accessing primary healthcare services or poor experiences with healthcare providers in the past,” she said.

“By bringing ‘Chat to PAT’ to the Early Morning Centre, we are ensuring more Canberrans can access primary and preventive health services, helping to combat chronic disease and improve people’s overall health and wellbeing.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said the PAT mobile clinic, delivered by Directions Health Services, provided an array of supports including mental health, alcohol and other drug (AOD) services, social support, case management and GP services.

She said it was staffed by a carefully recruited and trained interdisciplinary team of a GP, nurse and AOD counsellor.

“The PAT mobile clinic services the Early Morning Centre at the same time as the Orange Sky ‘Frosty’ van, which provides people with free laundry washing services,” the Minister said.

“These two organisations are able to leverage the strong relationships and trust they have built with vulnerable members of the community to ensure people feel safe accessing support, improving their overall health and wellbeing.”

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