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A Melbourne medical clinic which provides more than 10 per cent of the state’s methadone services will close next week, sparking concern crime will increase and local hospitals will be flooded.

The Frankston Medical Centre services hundreds of recovering heroin addicts and psychiatric patients every month but is now closing due to a shortage of doctors.

Clinic director Nadia Siciliano said the closure would likely lead to hundreds of abandoned patients flooding the streets.

The clinic currently serves 2400 methadone patients and more than 400 patients with schizophrenia.

The clinic was forced to close temporarily in October 2023 when the main practitioner was away, resulting in a devastating flow-on effect to the local community.

“There was a robbery of the pharmacy next door within 24 hours, hundreds of patients relapsing, increased pressure on nearby hospitals and police incidents with psychiatric patients unable to access medication,” Siciliano said.

“The main doctor at the clinic currently sees up to 80 patients per day, but it isn’t enough to keep the lights on and the doors open.”

Methadone is a medicine used to treat heroin dependence and is usually taken daily to relieve withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for the illicit drug.

Siciliano said she had tried “everything” but couldn’t get enough doctors to work to keep the clinic financially stable.

After six months of looking for staff and losing money the entire time, the clinic has finally had to give up and will close its doors on Monday.

“There is a severe skills shortage of doctors who specialise in pharmacotherapy and general GPs are refusing to work in the same clinic with higher-risk patients,” she said.

“There is currently no compensation or subsidy available for doctors or clinics to take on what is generally deemed to be ‘higher risk’ patients in the drug and psychiatric space.”

Libertarian MP David Limbrick shared his concern over the medical centre’s brief closure in October.

“Government regulations have made it so hard to help people with opiate addiction problems,” he said at the time.

“We need more medical professionals to be allowed to help people with drug problems.”

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