As featured in The Medical Link
The Gold Coast Private Fracture Clinic offers a private fracture clinic service that is dedicated to patients with a broken bone or injury.
As one of the nation’s busiest regional trauma locations, the Gold Coast has seen an increased demand on our public hospital departments. Particularly, there is heightened pressure on the public system to run additional fracture clinics to manage minor orthopaedic injuries requiring plasters, casts and fracture management. To help meet this increasing demand, Queensland’s first dedicated private fracture clinic has recently opened.
A local group of medical and allied health professionals identified the need for this specialised service on the Gold Coast. Dr Glenn McKay, Managing Director for the Medical Rescue Group of companies operating in the Asia Pacific, is one of the doctors behind the new clinic. Dr McKay has extensive experience in developing medical solutions and establishing medical clinics. “The current system is stressed. We can decrease the load on our outpatient clinics and public emergency departments for fracture management, X-rays and cast changes. Further, we all lead busy lives and have to balance work, family, school runs, and other daily commitments. We know our patients value their time and we need to acknowledge that.
The service offered by the clinic is time and cost effective for patients with low, out-of-pocket costs for all services. The clinic uses the expertise of local orthopaedic surgeons, general practitioners and allied health services such as physiotherapy and plaster technicians to deliver this new service. “It is important that we develop simple pathways for patients to be seen at the right place as early as possible. Increasing access to fracture clinics through a private option is a great step for members of the community who may not wish to wait or can’t work around the public hospital schedule. It also gives our general practitioners an option other than the busy public hospital to refer their patients to,” Dr McKay said.
Dr Michael Kalamaras, a local orthopaedic surgeon, is one of the doctors who works at the clinic. Most injuries and fractures can be treated in a plaster, synthetic cast or splint. If surgery is advised, an urgent referral can be made to a recommended surgeon or surgeon of the patient’s choice. The majority of patients can be treated without surgery and will require several visits with check X-rays to ensure good alignment and healing of the fracture and to ensure the plaster is fitting well to avoid complications. We monitor the patient’s progress until they are as good as can be,” Dr Kalamaras said.
The Gold Coast Private Fracture Clinic uses digital technology to deliver efficient, specialised, private fracture clinic services that also alleviates pressure on the public hospital system. Ms Kate Thorn, a local hand therapist who has been working on the Gold Coast for over 10 years, is also involved in establishing the clinic. “We have actively sought solutions to assist patients with fractures and breaks. We have efficient patient, doctor and radiology interaction, streamlining the clinic. Being adjacent to South Coast Radiology on Smith Street means the service is easily accessible and patients can have their X-rays and CT scans taken on the same day with free parking also onsite,” Ms Thorn said.
Specialist opinions are sought within minutes, rather than patients experiencing lengthy waits. This streamlining of patient health services enables the Gold Coast Private Fracture Clinic to deliver a high-class service at a lower price than currently available outside the public hospital system.