GPs needed to help homeless in Coffs Harbour

Nurse Sue Picton Clark works three days a week for Frankly Health Care at Pete’s Place, helping the homeless look after their health and wellbeing.

FRANKLY Health Care (FHC) is seeking compassionate general practitioners (GPs) to help care for people experiencing homelessness in Coffs Harbour.

Led by Dr Ryan Partridge, the FHC team has been making a positive impact for nearly four years, working on a voluntary basis out of a clinic room at Pete’s Place at the Coffs Harbour Community Village. Pete’s Place is run by the St Vincent de Paul Society.

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FHC has recently received a small grant that will allow it to expand its services, including employing GPs who are able to contribute a few hours each week or fortnight.

FHC board member and St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Acting Director Homelessness and Housing, Anna Scott, said Pete’s Place provided immediate support for an increasing number of vulnerable and disadvantaged community members experiencing homelessness.

“Every day, up to 120 people visit the hub to access vital resources including food, showers and laundry facilities as well as experienced case workers who assist people with their individual needs, referrals and advocacy,” Ms Scott said.

“Through necessity, people experiencing homelessness prioritise food, shelter and safety over their health needs, resulting in hospitalisation, chronic disease and premature death.

“Extending access to GPs and medical services through FHC at Pete’s Place will ensure that people’s health and wellbeing is provided seamlessly while they access basic needs supports.”

She said a recent Guardian Australia investigation revealed that Australians experiencing homelessness had a life expectancy of just 44 years, three decades less than the general population.

GPs interested in applying for a role with FHC should be passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of those in need.

The successful applicants will work closely with St Vincent de Paul representatives, Galambila Aboriginal Health Service GPs and health workers, and Mid North Coast Local Health District clinicians and social workers.

For more information or to express an interest in the positions, contact Dr Geoff Stewart at

By Mike HELY

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