THE official opening of a redeveloped community health centre at Point Lonsdale has added another page to Bellarine Community Health’s (BCH) rich history.
During a special event last week, chief executive officer Shane Dawson was joined by Corangamite federal member Sarah Henderson and federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to officially open the extension and refurbishment of the Point Lonsdale-Queenscliff Community Health Care Centre, which will improve access to primary, allied health, mental health and dental services.
Mr Dawson said BCH offered a wonderful facility that could deliver a broad scope of health services and wellbeing programs for everyone on the Bellarine, now and into the future.
“This facility is for the community, it will provide high quality responsive health care and community care as close as possible to where people live,” Mr Dawson said.
“It’s the right care, at the right place, at the right time.
“Today, the official opening is just the beginning, it will lead towards an exciting future of combining quality care for our communities of the Bellarine.”
BCH board deputy chair Faye Agtherhuis said the opening was an exciting day for BCH, and marked another page in the Bellarine Community Health story as a provider of high quality and responsive health services for the Bellarine
“Our story began in 2009, but can really be traced back to the 1870s with the appointment of the first doctor on the Bellarine,” Ms Agtherhuis said.
“For more than two decades, community members tried to get a hospital up on the Bellarine, knowing that we needed high quality community health care for residents even back then.
“That hospital never eventuated but those efforts led to the establishment of what was known as the Queenscliff and District Community Health Centre, Australia’s first community health centre in 1972 and a building we stand in today recognises that work from those days with their vision about needing high quality community based health care, and that is what is important for our community.
“Throughout the years our model here was seen by other communities as something to replicate… but in 1992 they amalgamated to become Bellarine Peninsula Community Health Services, which later became Bellarine Community Health as it is today.
“So we have a rich history of providing high quality health services to the communities of the Bellarine.”
Mr Hunt said the government’s contribution of $3 million to the redevelopment meant people throughout the region now had access to a onestop-shop health facility.