About the Co-operative

The Beginning

Westgate Health Co-op was established in 1980 by committed residents in the South Kingsville/Spottswood area, in Melbourne's West. Concerned at the lack of bulk-billing medical services in this disadvantaged neighbourhood, the residents decided to develop their own health service, and were able to attract a General Practitioner to start a medical practice.

Over the last thirty years, the organisation has grown substantially. There are over 9,000 members, and the co-op operates two centres, South Kingsville and Newport. The organisation provides a wide range of health services employing over 30 staff and Doctors

Philosophy & Structure

The philosophy of Westgate Health is based on the principles of co-operation: co-operation between patients and health professionals in caring for the health needs of the community; and co-operation between staff, management and members in the governance and support of the organisation.
We believe that this increases the impact we have on health care, and it also contributes to common learning and empowerment.
As a non-profit organisation, any surplus from operations remains in the organisation, and is used to develop the mission and services of the Co-op. Westgate Health receives no state or federal funding, but relies on membership fees, bulk-billing rebates and fee for-service activities.
Membership fees are structured to optimise access to health services for low income users and members.

What's so special about Westgate Health?

The organisation is owned by its users - over 9,000 of them - who elect a local Board of Directors to oversee the operation and development of the Co-op.

Westgate Health Co-op (WGHC) is unique. It is a registered community co-operative that:

  • Provides quality Health Care
  • Offers bulk- billed and/or affordable services
  • Community ownership and control