Shut down: BADAC’s health program manager Jo Warren at Daylesford’s Raglan Street clinic. The service started a year ago to fill a bulk billing gap.

A free medical clinic set up to service Daylesford’s indigenous population has closed due to lack of support.

The Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative established the service in June last year after identifying “a gap in bulk billing services” in the township.

BADACgovernance and compliance officerTravis Bull said the service, located at 24 Raglan Street, was not designed for the indigenous community exclusively, but also to fill a gap in the market for non-indigenous people.

BADAC currently runs a successful bulk-billing clinic in Ballarat’s Market Street for both Indigenous and non-indigenous people.

”Ourclinic in Daylesford, we gave it about a year and we found it was really stretching our resources,” Mr Bull said.

“We know from our statistics that our clients for our Daylesfordclinic were not Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, they were clients from the Daylesfordarea.”

Mr Bull said if any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people from Daylesford wished to continue accessing the bulk billing medical clinic, BADAC would provide transport to Ballarat for them to attend.

The satellite clinic had been offering services for one or two days per week over the past year.

“It was slowly building but we needed it to be more supported than it was in order to maintain the services there,” Mr Bull said.

“We were slowly making inroads, but we found it was stretching our resources and stretching our staff.”

Mr Bull confirmed that no staff members would be affected –anyone who had been working in Daylesford would continue on at the Ballarat clinic.

“We do sympathise with the people of Daylesford for not having that service.We did offer that service for a little while, but it did need more support from the community,” he said.

“It’s one of those unfortunate things but we’ve managed to make sure the staff involved havekept their jobs and will be back working at the Ballarat clinicon those other days.”

Mr Bull said BADAC’s Ballarat clinic was creating inroads into the health of the local Aboriginal community, particularly in terms ofeye care and diabetes care.

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