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Victorian community health projects



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OINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE COMMONWEALTH MINISTER FOR HEALTH, AND THE VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR HEALTH, MR V. HOUGHTON.

Victorian Community Health Projects

MR RALPH HUNT,

A total of $474 330 is to be made available for

community health projects in Victoria. .

The money, to be made available through the Community

Health Program, is for 13 new projects and the expansion of two

existing projects.

The grants were announced today by the Commonwealth

Minister for Health, Mr Hunt, and the Victorian Minister for

Health, Mr Houghton. .

Seven new mental health projects will be supported,

including an innovative project aimed at involving pharmacists in

early diagnosis and care of certain psychiatric conditions.

Mr Hunt and Mr Houghton said that this project was of

particular interest, since it recognised the role that pharmacists

could play in primary community health care.

The two year pilot project will seek to train pharmacists

to make an early diagnosis of conditions such as depression so that

they can be referred to local doctors or to a mental health team.

A series of seminars will be held during the pilot project,

and the staff of the Dandenong Mental Health Centre will prepare

a pharmacy information kit for distribution to the pharmacists.

The project will be co-ordinated by the Psychiatric

Superintendent at the Dangenong Psychiatric clinic and administered

by the Victorian Mental Health Authority.

2 .

/' This and other mental health projects being supported in the

latest Community Health Program grants, will concentrate on the provision

of services in needy metropolitan and rural areas of Victoria.

Other mental health projects include a community mental health

service for Shepparton, a community mental health relief team for the

Melbourne metropolitan area, a community mental health service team for

Bro.admeadows, Sunbury and Waverly and a child guidance team to be ยท .

based in Dangenong. . .

In addition, six new Early Childhood Development Completes

(E.C.D.C.s) will be established in the Melbourne city, Footscray/

S u n s h i n e G o u l b u r n Valley, Mildura, Fitzroy/Collingwood/Richmond,

- and Lilydale/Healesville/Upper Yarra/Alexandra/Yea areas. The E.C.D.C.s

will provide diagnostic and assessment services and promote health

education programs primarily for pre-primary school children. Two

existing community health projects, at Frankston and Gisborne, will

be expanded to include Early Childhood Development Services. The

Victorian Department of Health already conducts six E.C.D.C.s

funded under the Community Health Program, and the six new and two

expanded E.C.D.C. projects will augment the existing network and

move closer to the goal of making these services available oh a

State-wide basis, in both metropolitan and rural areas. -

, The Commonwealth will meet 50% of the capital costs, and

75% of the operating costs of the new projects. The total of $474 330

in 1977/78 will be drawn from a block grant of $18,260 million already

made to Victoria from the Community Health Program for the 1977/78

financial year. The balance will be contributed by the State. The new

and expanded projec.ts will eventually provide employment for some

157 health workers and administrative support staff.

Canberra, 23 February, 1978.