Northside Clinic popped the bubbly for its official launch last Friday, formally opening its doors to the community.
Clinic manager Peter Locke told Southern Star the practice aims to offer a specific service to the GLBTI community and is determined to strengthen community ties.
The clinic, which has been in operation since May, is independently owned. All the doctors on staff are former Carlton Clinic employees who chose to make the move to the dedicated GLBTI practice, taking many patients with them.
Locke said the switch to St George’s Rd, North Fitzroy was made to service a need in the city’s north as most patients already attending the Carlton Clinic came from the Fitzroy, Brunswick and Preston areas.
Although the Northside Clinic will continue to care for a high number of HIV patients, Locke said the clinic wants to dispel a perception the clinic only deals with HIV treatment and wants to shift the focus to include lesbian, bisexual and transgender health.
-œWe want to send a message to the community that we’re open to everyone regardless of their sexuality or gender and whatever their health needs, Loke said.
-œWhen you come in you don’t want a doctor to assume you’re straight … there’s enough of that in society as it is.
-œWhen it comes to pap smears [for lesbians] for example, you don’t want anyone assuming you have penetrative sex, or that you don’t.
Along with general health information, the clinic provides testing for STIs and HIV, osteopathy and pathology services and will continue to conduct HIV clinical trials.
info: Northside Clinic is located at 370 St. Georges Rd, Fitzroy North.