New medical centre eyes the future
Facing a dwindling medical workforce, aging population and grappling with new technology, New Zealand’s largest general practice is working to design a new centre to handle medicine in a changing world.
Masterton Medical clinical director Dr Tony Becker said they are in the final stages of planning the centre and hope to incorporate a range of features to best accommodate the community’s needs now and in the future.
With up to 50 per cent of the current medical workforce less than 10 years away from retirement, the sector needs to be able attract good staff and work out better models of treatment that may mean fewer doctors’ consultations.
As the biggest general practice in New Zealand he said they are aware that they have to create an environment which is more personal for their patients. They intend to separate the building into four hubs with subgroups of nurses and doctors so that people have some familiarity with each other and their history.
Another exciting development will be the addition of booths where people will be able to make the most of technology to start feeding in their medical information and inputting queries. They will also be able to log in to their own patient files, as they are already able to do online.
‘‘Young people are into immediacy and into screens and so we’re trying to plan not only for the elderly people that we are dealing with but also for the young people. We don’t want to build a medical centre that 10 years down the line is already outdated,’’ Becker said.
The centre is going to be built by an iwi trust on an old school site on Te Ore Ore Rd near State Highway 2 in the suburb of Lansdowne.
Rangitane post settlement governance entity Rangitane Tu Mai Ra Trust will be the landlord for the centre. Trust transition manager Ronald Karaitiana said they are excited to be embarking on this commercial project.
‘‘It’s a great commercial opportunity for Rangitane moving forward. Certainly Masterton Medi- cal has their own ethos around how they want to have that building and how it’s going to meet the needs of that community. We’re really happy and excited the coming build,’’ he said.
The land is still under ownership of the Office of Treaty Settlements which has agreed to release the land to the Trust so that they can move forward with the development.
This green fields site at the old Lansdowne School is to be the new home of Masterton Medical.