In 1977 a community health facility was opened at Inala to service the local population who faced significant logistical issues accessing affordable healthcare. Funding was provided through the community health reforms of the Whitlam government.
With the advent of Medicare in the early 1980’s, some private, bulk-billing clinics started offering primary care in the local area. However, these clinics rarely provided chronic disease support. Therefore, residents suffering co-morbidities and presenting with complex poly-pharmacy regimes continued to be referred to Queensland Health’s clinic.
The idea of IPC gained momentum during 2006 through the efforts of two women, Wendy Pilkington, then Executive Director of QEII Hospital and Prof. Claire Jackson, the recently appointed head of the Division of General Practice at the University of Queensland. The catalyst was the ongoing cost of well over $750,000 per annum to operate the clinic.
Prof. Andrew Wilson, then a Deputy Director-General in Queensland Health, agreed to the provision of seed funding. The objective was to assist the new, not-for-profit entity transition into a corporate model whilst continuing to employ staff historically operating from the Queensland Health clinic. On 2nd April 2007, the company, Inala Primary Care Ltd, officially commenced operations under the leadership of the new CEO, Cathy Brown.
Since then our charitable general practice has grown and continued to serve the needs of the local community. In the 2017 calendar year we delivered more than 40,000 consultations for the first time. This is a very big development for a charity which just over a decade ago began with just three full-time doctors and was lucky to see 200 patients a week. We continue to create history through reinvesting in new models of care. In 2013 our diabetes model was adopted by two other Brisbane based practices. In 2016 it was adopted in practices in Western Australia. We replicated our model of renal care into a practice in Ipswich in 2015 and Armidale in 2017. It just goes to show that out of small things, big impact can be made.