Overstretched regional health clinic gets much needed cash injection

MARREE: The state government and the Royal Flying Doctor Service contribute a total of $1.73m to the Marree Remote Area Clinic Precinct Redevelopment.
MARREE: The state government and the Royal Flying Doctor Service contribute a total of $1.73m to the Marree Remote Area Clinic Precinct Redevelopment.

An overstretched health clinic in the state's far north will receive a much needed upgrade to help respond to the influx of tourists visiting the region.

The Marree Remote Area Clinic has been awarded $716,000 from the South Australian government's Regional Growth Fund, while the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) will inject an additional $1.016 million into the precinct redevelopment.

Minister for Regional Development Tim Whetstone labelled the project "forward-thinking" and "innovative".

"With booming tourism in the Far North region, including tourists flocking to the Lake Eyre flooding, Birdsville Track and Strzelecki Track, emergency medical services and our Royal Flying Doctor Service are in demand," Mr Whetstone said.

"Our tourism sector is growing, and in future will place further strain on the current infrastructure.

"This total $1.73 million investment will ensure outback residents and our visitors can be given the right care, and the precinct will create a new benchmark for remote primary health services delivery."

The RFDS will use modular and prefabricated construction to create a purpose-designed agile health infrastructure precinct - there will be seven jobs created during construction.

The precinct will include a 250-square-metre purpose-built medical facility, additional staff accommodation and overall site upgrades to create a state-of-the-art medical facility for the far north community.

Member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan said this project will significantly improve health outcomes for those in the far north.

"Currently, due to space restrictions, when the fortnightly RFDS 'fly-in' GP clinic from Port Augusta arrives consultations are often undertaken at the school, the community office, or even on the verandah of the clinic," Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

"This project will create a purpose-built medical facility which will improve healthcare access in Maree and the wider Far North region."

RFDS Central Operations Chief Executive Tony Vaughan welcomed today's announcement.

"The Royal Flying Doctor Service is proud to provide around-the-clock access to health services in remote South Australia - whether it be caring for born-and-bred locals, workers on the land, or travellers taking in the wonders of the outback," Mr Vaughan said.

"The redevelopment of the Marree Remote Area Clinic is another important step towards enhancing the quality of care we deliver every day to patients in every corner of the state."