MIL-OSI Australia: Vulnerable Canberrans can ‘Chat to PAT’ mobile health outreach each weekday

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Source: Government of Australia Capital Territory

Released 04/06/2021

The ACT’s purpose-built mobile health outreach clinic for vulnerable Canberrans is now operating full-time across five locations.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the addition of Friday clinics at Veterans Park in Civic meant the Directions Mobile Primary Care Outreach Clinic – called ‘Chat to PAT’ (Pathways to Assistance and Treatment) – was now operational five days a week.

“This innovative outreach initiative helps ensure that vulnerable communities can more easily access better healthcare,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“This service will help vulnerable Canberrans to improve their physical and mental health, improve their quality of life and increase their ability and capacity for self-advocacy.”

The mobile clinic takes a wraparound approach, providing an array of supports including mental health, alcohol and other drug services (AOD), social support, case management and GP services.

PAT is staffed by a carefully recruited and trained interdisciplinary team of a GP, nurse, mental health practitioner and AOD practitioner.

The mobile clinic is a collaboration between Directions, the Capital Health Network, John James Foundation and the ACT Health Directorate.

Capital Health Network, John James Foundation and Directions provided joint funding to acquire and fit out the van for the mobile clinic.

ACT Health funds the service to operate three days a week and Capital Health Network funds the other two:

  • Mondays at Kanangra Court, Reid
  • Tuesdays at Illawarra Court, Belconnen
  • Wednesdays at Oaks Estate
  • Thursdays at Ainslie Village, Ainslie
  • Fridays at Veterans Park, Civic

Quotes attributable to Bronwyn Hendry, CEO at Directions Health Services:

“Thanks to the generous support of ACT Health, PAT is now providing primary health care five days a week, across five sites, to Canberrans who may otherwise be unable to access vital services. With this funding we have been able to expand the comprehensive primary health care, mental health services and support for drug and alcohol issues delivered through PAT to Kanangra Court in Reid, Illawarra Court in Belconnen and Veterans Park in Civic.”

“I don’t think we can underestimate the importance of access to health care, particularly for people with complex needs. By providing non-judgemental care in an environment that feels familiar and safe, we can support people to address their health concerns sooner, hopefully preventing any illnesses from becoming worse and requiring more acute care. We can also offer immunisations and other health interventions that can significantly improve health outcomes and quality of life.”

– Statement ends –

Section: Rachel Stephen-Smith, MLA | Media Releases

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