SFNL board members and presidents on Wednesday night voted in favour of the initiative, allowing the clinic to start this weekend.
At the “one-stop shop” clinic, Ontario Family Practice GP Dr Travis Taggert and a medical team will be on call to provide treatment to any players who need it.
“Each club has a dedicated medical liaison officer who will liaise between the injured player and myself,” Dr Taggert said.
“What this means, essentially, is the officer will have my dedicated on-call phone number, and can call me from the court or the field when an injury occurs.
“I will be assessing injuries initially over the phone or via FaceTime in the first instance, and from there, a plan will be put into place.
“If they need further treatment, they can come directly into the injury clinic, where my team and myself will be available to provide any on the spot care required.”
Dr Taggert has established relationships with Lime Avenue Radiology and iMed Radiology, to ensure any athletes needing CT scans or X-rays can access them on Monday morning.
“Both radiology clinics are in partnership with us, and have agreed to put aside dedicated places on Mondays for any players who have been referred from the injury clinic,” he said.
“They’ve also dedicated an MRI spot — which is great in terms of diagnosing injuries like ACL and knee injuries.
“At times in Mildura, there’s often a bit of a wait to get these types of medical images done, so we’re really thankful for this support.”
The injury clinic will also have available a range of medical supplies from Country Care, including moonboots, slings, crutches and wrist splints on site, available to be fitted by the team.
“Lime Therapy are on board with us to that end, and they will be available for physiotherapy, hand therapy, splints and that sort of thing,” Dr Taggert said.
“It’s about more than just providing initial treatment on the day — it’s about ensuring follow-up care is there too.
“Investigating test results, guiding the patient through their recovery and guiding them to rehabilitation so they can return to the game they all love, safely and efficiently.
“At the end of the day it’s about providing the best possible level of medical care for our athletes, right through from juniors, netballers and footballers.”
SFNL executive officer Peter Walker said it was a “no-brainer” for the league to back the clinic.
“For us, the establishment of this injury clinic is fantastic,” he said.
“Currently, players need to present to the emergency department … this concept basically fast-tracks (the process).
“When it was presented to (the SFNL presidents) they were unanimous in their support, they can all see the value of it.”
The Sunraysia Football and Netball Injury Clinic will operate from 10am to 6pm every Saturday for the remainder of the SFNL season.