New look for medical centre
Patients at the Gore Medical Centre will have access to more health services when the building is upgraded in coming months.
A long-awaited upgrade to the centre’s 45-year-old building in Eccles St will include a new and larger reception area, an extra consultation room, a new laboratory and better wheelchair access.
Gore Medical Centre nurse manager Alison Wilden said the upgrade would give the centre more room to provide more nurse-led clinics.
‘‘We will be able to run more asthma, diabetes and sexual health clinics.’’
A reconfiguration inside the building had been in the planning stages for several years after the centre directors – general practitioners Glenys Weir, Werner Pohl and Jochen Clemens — decided to upgrade rather than move to a larger building.
‘‘There are two things that have driven it. One is maintenance - the building hasn’t had much done to it since it was built [in 1969] so we can upgrade the hot and cold water systems and decorate, and we’re trying to reconfigure the building so it will work better for us and we can deliver our services,’’ Wilden said.
‘‘Changes in healthcare are happening all the time and we need to be able to adapt quickly to be able to pass benefits on to patients.’’
Two new staff members would be employed to work in the new reception area, increasing staff numbers to 27.
‘‘There will only be receptionists at the counter, the phones will be in the back office so the receptionists will be able to deal with patients a lot faster and there will be increased privacy.’’
The centre is privately owned and received about half of its income from the Southern District Health Board, which allowed the centre to provide subsidised doctors visits.
The upgrade would be funded by the directors, who would not disclose the total cost.
Work began a fortnight ago and was expected to be finished in December.
‘‘It will be a bit of a mission in the meantime. Patients need to be aware of changes to entry to the building in the next few months but we’ll be keeping them up to date on our Facebook page and website,’’ Wilden said.
Building starts: Amalgamated Builders site foreman Michael Walker and Gore Medical Centre nurse manager Alison Wilden discuss the centre upgrade, which will be completed in December.
Coming soon: An artists’ impression of the new reception area at the Gore Medical Centre, which will be completed in December.