GP’s new skin clinic opens

Dr Steven Grillet of Grillet Family Practice has opened the city's first Skin Clinic.

Earlier this month, Broken Hill’s newest GP facility – Grillett Family Practice – opened the city’s first skin clinic, responding to a need for the service amid the high temperatures and harsh conditions often experienced, especially throughout the height of the summer months.

“A void is there at the moment. I didn’t want to sit by and let the Broken Hill people suffer unnecessarily so that’s essentially where the inspiration sits,” Dr Steven Grillett told the Barrier Truth.

“I wanted to support the Broken Hill community, so they don’t have to drive [anywhere and] they have a consistency of a comprehensive service that’s on offer in town. That’s what I’m hoping to provide.

“I’ve worked with plastic surgeons and dermatologists over the years, and they always acknowledge that the levels of skin cancer in Broken Hill are very high. Their services are always flooded with expectation and demand.

“It’s definitely high need out here. The sun in Broken Hill is very harsh and it’s constant all year round. The sun exposure out here is extreme and coming with that is the skin cancers that we see in Broken Hill.

“A lot of what we see is sun damaged skin cancer in Broken Hill. We’re always looking out for the melanomas which can be linked to that. We see a lot of this harsh sun damage and it can lead to skin cancers and so that’s what we’re targeting [with] the skin check, to get ahead of this.”

Amongst offering skin checks, full body skin mapping, skin cancer excision, cryotherapy and hyfrecation, and skin biopsies, Dr Grillett has added skin spot checks to the list of skin clinic services on offer to patients too.

“This new skin spot check is an extra service that I think will make things more accessible. If someone’s concerned, they can just come in,” he said, referencing that in the past, Broken Hill has been visited by travelling dermatologists and specialists.

“If someone’s got an actual spot and they don’t want to do the full check, they can just say, ‘what’s this thing on my arm?’ or if they had their skin check done in January and then June comes along and something new comes up, they don’t want to do the whole new skin check again, say ‘what’s this?’, they can just come in and we can just have a check of that spot.”

Partnering also with Sydney dermatologist Dr Philip Tong via DermScreen, sending high resolution images to complex skin presentations for consultation with a 24-hour turnaround time at no extra cost to the patient is another way Grillett Family Practice can provide full treatment plans that Dr Grillett then puts into place.

“The dermatology service is one that’s relatively new and not available anywhere else in Broken Hill. It was set up late last year when I was setting the practice up because skin cancer prevention was a big part of what we were focused on,” Dr Grillett said.

“I was able to engage with a very experienced dermatologist, Dr Tong, and we’ve now set up a Telehealth service that I can get a second opinion from him if there’s any concern. He uses this DermScreen platform. He’s very good, and he gets back to me within a day with his recommendations so that if we need, we can have that extra oversight.”

Dr Grillett says prevention of sun damaged skin is a key factor to the service that offers early detection, treatment, and follow-ups. He also stressed that the skin clinic is open to all ages and that those who want to utilise the service don’t need to be patients of his clinic, opening it up and offering it for the benefit of everyone in the community.

“I think the key message is that we want to offer it to the community. We’ve been very fortunate setting up the Grillett Family Practice to have a lot of community support,” he says.

“As part of that, we wanted to make sure that our service that we offer here is not just general practice for our patients, but also something bigger than that. I think we’re meeting that by offering this skin clinic service to everyone, even if they’re not one of [our] regular patients.”

The skin clinic is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 5pm. To book an appointment or to get more information, call 08 6182 4331, visit, or walk into Grillett Family Practice at 47 Oxide St.

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