A new Podiatric Surgery Clinic at The University of Western Australia will encourage clinical research in podiatric surgery, offer reduced fees for elective foot surgery patients and provide much-needed training for postgraduate students.
The new centre is the first podiatric surgery teaching facility in Australia to be licensed by a State Department of Health as a Class-B Day Hospital and was opened today by UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson.
Professor Robson said podiatrists played an extremely important role in the health care system, particularly in treating patients with lower limb complications of diabetes, renal disease or peripheral vascular disease.
"Podiatric Medicine is taught within UWA's Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. It is unique in that it is the only podiatry course in Australia taught within a faculty of medicine," he said.
"Although our students undertake important clinical placements in our public teaching hospitals, community clinics and clinics with private practitioners, this new facility will allow them to receive advanced clinical and surgical training, which is not available to them within the public teaching hospital system.
"The goal of our podiatric medicine course is to advance the education and training of podiatrists in WA to the highest international standards. The establishment of the surgery clinic is a significant step forward in this direction.
"It also fulfils our aim to provide high quality services to the wider community."
Professor Robson said the Federal Government provided funding of $2.6 million for the refurbishment of the Park Avenue building, providing additional student, teaching and clinical training facilities for the podiatric medicine unit, and in particular the new Podiatric Surgery Clinic.
This followed approximately $1 million funding from the WA Department of Health in 2006 for the construction of the ground floor clinic, gait lab, orthotics lab, student computer labs, and associated equipment.
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716