The tiny medical centre pumping millions into our economy
A SMALL medical clinic in the heart of Warwick is leading the country with its remarkable success as a non-profit.
Warwick's Carbal Medical Clinic is one of two practices pumping a phenomenal $10million into the Darling Downs economy each year.
Through clinics in Warwick and Toowoomba, Carbal Medical Services self-generates 40per cent of its funding.
The service has also stripped administrative costs to 7 per cent, far below the standard of 25 per cent for non-profits.
CEO Brian Hewitt said he wasn't aware of any other non-profit in Australia that was currently running a leaner use of public funds than Carbal Medical Services.
"It can't be a bottomless pit," Mr Hewitt said.
"Public money is becoming less and less and the demands on it are becoming more and more.
"I think it is beholden on to all organisation to find creative ways to self-generate funds that can continue in partnership with government funding."
Surplus pushes centre forward
With 8000 clients across the Darling Downs, Carbal's clinics also take pressure off the public health system.
Almost half Carbal's overall costs are self-funded through the two successful medical clinics in Warwick and Toowoomba.
Since being established in 2002, its operating surplus has increased ten fold.
It will add a full-time doctor in the next two weeks - bringing the number of GPs to three. Three medical registrars will come on full-time by next year.
'We don't wait for the money to come to us'
The benefits of self-fundings all come back to Carbal's overall mission.
"This means that when funding dries up for a particular program, we can continue offering the service," Mr Hewitt said.
Carbal runs 29 programs in addition to its medical practice with focuses like mental health, alcohol and smoking.
Mr Hewitt said culturally appropriate medical services delivered far better health outcomes and rates of engagement for indigenous Australians.
According to Mr Hewitt, engagement was the biggest problem contributing to poor health statistics and life expectancy in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
"There is a lack of engagement for a variety of reasons like the perception of lack of culturally safe and appropriate health services," Mr Hewitt said.
Young client Sophie Harrison doesn't know much about her Aboriginal heritage, but said she still felt much more comfortable at Carbal than mainstream medical clinics.
"I think it will make a big difference for her health in the long run," older half-sister Courtney Gardner said.