“On Wednesday, November 6th a new service starts in Emerald. The service will initially be provided on a Wednesday each fortnight”, said Michael Bishop (Central Highlands Healthcare CEO).
The Central Highlands Health Justice Partnership provides an opportunity to patients of the Emerald Medical Clinic to access free and confidential legal advice. The service is founded on sound research that shows many patients seeing their General Practitioner are also experiencing some kind of legal issue.
Local research has shown that Legal problems are intricately linked to an individual’s overall wellbeing, with issues such as finance, security and violence undermining one’s social determinants of health. People who are vulnerable to legal needs also face major barriers in accessing such services, which includes: not recognising the legal situation; limited knowledge and conflicting priorities with other aspects of life. In Emerald, many seek health professionals such as general practitioners (GP) for legal advice, both out of convenience and an ongoing rapport with GPs that enables disclosure, said Michael Bishop (CEO of Central Highlands Healthcare).
“The model of the GP Superclinic being able to offer a comprehensive range of supports is important for rural people who might travel some distance to see a doctor”, said Michael Bishop.
“Referrals from General Practitioners for custody, domestic violence, sexual assault, financial, tenancy and family issues are likely to be the most prevalent”, said Kasey Wilson from Central Queensland Community Legal Centre.
“Patients experiencing a legal difficulty may ask their doctor for a referral or the General Practitioner may initiate the conversation,” said Kasey Wilson.
Emerald Medical Group Doctors Nikki Harch and Dina Zakirova and Rafik Malik (photographed with Kasey Wilson) were a part of the recent meet and greet in preparation of the new service starting next week.
For further information please phone 4986 7400