Work starts on new med­i­cal hub

Te Puke Times - - NEWS -

A new $7 mil­lion med­i­cal hub is un­der con­struc­tion in Pa¯pa¯moa.

The new 1200sq m com­mer­cial build will in­clude a large med­i­cal cen­tre which devel­oper Daryl Scott hoped to one day make a 24-hour ser­vice.

Mr Scott said the to­tal project would cost about $7m and was ex­pected to be com­pleted by April next year.

The hub in­cluded six te­nan­cies with four spots al­ready filled by the med­i­cal cen­tre, phar­macy, physio and an­other in­ter­na­tional brand yet to be an­nounced.

Scott, who was de­vel­op­ing the build­ing with wife Heidi, said the new high-qual­ity med­i­cal hub would ben­e­fit Pa¯pa¯moa’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and cre­ate about 70 new jobs in the area.

“It will be a huge ben­e­fit for the lo­cal Pa¯pa¯moa and Te Puke com­mu­nity,” he said.

“It is about mak­ing a dif­fer­ence and hav­ing some­thing that serves the com­mu­nity.”

Mr Scott said he was mo­ti­vated to make the med­i­cal cen­tre a 24-hour med­i­cal cen­tre but that was still just a pos­si­bil­ity at this stage.

The med­i­cal hub was next to the Pa­pamoa Beach Vil­lage on the cor­ner of Te Okuroa Dr and Par­ton Rd and in front of the new child­care cen­tre Bloom, also de­vel­oped by Daryl and Heidi.

Mr Scott said it was a prime lo­ca­tion half­way between “old Pa¯pa¯moa and new Pa¯pa¯moa“.

“Be­ing across from the re­tire­ment vil­lage, high school and one of Pa¯pa¯moa’s busiest round­abouts, I don’t think you would find an­other high-pro­file site in Pa¯pa¯moa,” he said.

Pa¯pa¯moa mother Alana Ib­bet­son was rushed to Tau­ranga Hos­pi­tal af­ter her wa­ters broke in May last year. She told the Bay of Plenty Times at the time that she could have dodged traf­fic and made it to the hos­pi­tal 10 min­utes ear­lier if there was a med­i­cal cen­tre in Pa¯pa¯moa.

Now preg­nant with her sec­ond child, Ib­bet­son said a med­i­cal cen­tre close to her home would be ben­e­fi­cial, es­pe­cially if it was open 24 hours.

“As long as it is af­ford­able then I think the whole com­mu­nity will get be­hind it,” she said.

“A lot of it will come down to pric­ing, es­pe­cially with an­other kid on the way.”

She said between her­self and her ba­bies she would prob­a­bly go to the doc­tors once ev­ery six months.

“It’s the time you take, money you spend on petrol and park­ing to get to the hos­pi­tal in town as well.”

Raewyn Allen, who also lived in Pa¯pa¯moa, said the lo­cal health­care op­tions were not enough for the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion. “It is just grow­ing so fast out here,” she said.

Her 7-year-old daugh­ter suf­fered a ma­jor in­jury when she was dou­ble-bounced on a tram­po­line last year and was in a wheel­chair for about three months.

“Thank­fully noth­ing like that will hap­pen again . . . but if there was some­thing out here it would make a huge dif­fer­ence,” she said.

Pri­or­ity One com­mu­ni­ca­tions and projects man­ager An­nie Hill said the new med­i­cal hub meant Pa¯pa¯moa res­i­dents would not have to drive across town to ob­tain med­i­cal ser­vices.

Ms Hill said the pos­si­bil­ity of a 24-hour med­i­cal ser­vice would al­low res­i­dents to ac­cess emer­gency ser­vices and would be cru­cial to mit­i­gat­ing health is­sues and po­ten­tially sav­ing lives.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller said the lack of a 24-hour med­i­cal cen­tre in Pa¯pa¯moa had been a real is­sue for the sub­urb’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and it was some­thing he had been cam­paign­ing for in the lead-up to last year’s elec­tion.

“The grow­ing com­mu­nity needs an ac­ci­dent and emer­gency ser­vice and if de­vel­op­ers see that as part of fu­ture plans, I’m sure the com­mu­nity will get be­hind it.”

IM­AGE / SUP­PLIED

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the new med­i­cal hub.

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