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Community Health is our Priority

  • October 8, 2019
  • Health and Wellbeing

We want to shift your thinking. Right now, you might think something like, ‘My doctor treats me when I’m sick’. And we’ll definitely do that for you at Elm Rd  — but we want to do more for community health.

We’d like you to think, ‘My doctor helps me stay well’. 

That’s a very different mindset. Instead of only coming to us when you’re feeling unwell, you’ll also come to learn how to be healthy. That changed mindset means you’ll come for check-ups and screening tests, you’ll chat to your GP about good nutrition and exercise to manage your weight, and you’ll feel comfortable asking for help with struggles like quitting smoking or drinking less alcohol. 

You’ll see your Elm Rd doctor as your health partner, someone who helps you live the life you want to live. 

Having a Community Health Mindset

We’ve changed our mindset too. We’ve thought about how to deliver community-focused healthcare and how to foster doctor-patient partnerships. And we’ve planned Elm Rd with those things in mind.

We’ve established Elm Rd on the three pillars of:

  • Commitment to the local community
  • An unrivalled customer experience
  • Dedicated healthcare professionals. 

Our mindset means we’re not doing conveyor-belt medicine where we greet and treat patients as fast as possible. We’re offering community-focused, preventive healthcare that values relationship and connection. We like being part of your community and you’ll probably see us taking part in local events. 

We’ve carefully chosen our healthcare professionals for their skills and their outlook. At Elm Rd, we’ll see you as an interesting person not a collection of interesting symptoms. And we’ll value time spent getting to know you because we recognise that knowing you well helps us serve you better. 

So, what does all that mean in practice? It means we’ve considered those things that are important to you when choosing a clinic. We want Elm Rd to be:

  • Convenient, with online bookings, SMS reminders, extended opening hours, easy parking with allied health and radiology onsite
  • Comfortable, with pleasant waiting areas and consultation rooms
  • Cost-sensitive, offering mixed-billing to reduce costs for families or concession-card holders
  • Current, offering the most up-to-date, evidence-based therapies and connecting with you on social media
  • Collaborative, helping you take control of your health through consultations, information sessions, and online resources.

Why We Champion Community Health

When modern medicine first took shape a few hundred years ago, health was seen as the absence of disease. If you didn’t have a physical illness, then you were healthy. 

Over time, we began to see that the medical model of health only tells part of the story. Many broader factors affect our health and wellbeing. The World Health Organisation began to focus on the social determinants of health; the wider conditions under which we’re born, grow, live, work and age. So, alongside our genetics, there’s our education, housing, workplace safety and job security, lifestyle choices, and support networks. These vary a lot between depending on where you live, creating community health inequalities. 

Strong communities and high quality relationships help improve health and resilience. Sadly, some Australians don’t have those. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that:

  • 1 in 10 Australians say they lack social support
  • 1 in 4 Australians say they currently feel lonely. 

Relationship breakdown, bereavement, single parenting, unemployment, and social fragmentation weaken our health and affect our wellbeing. 

That’s why Elm Rd is committed to a community-focused model of healthcare. We want to consider all the different things going on in your life and how they affect your health. And we want to be part of the solution, strengthening your support networks and helping to create a strong community health ethos.

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