Mataura medical hub on the drawing board

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Tentative plans for a new Mataura medical hub were discussed at a community information evening on Wednesday night.

About 50 people, including Mataura Community Board members, Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks, councillor Neville Phillips, Mataura marae representative Maria Pera, Mataura Constable Jacob Garrett and Mataura School principal Susan Dennison attended the evening.

Community board chairman Alan Taylor said the board had been investigating the possibility of a community health hub.

“There are challenges with the existing buildings, with staffing and services in the present building.

“A community-owned medical centre ensures the ongoing viability of medical services in Mataura,” Mr Taylor said.

The proposal was to use the former office building at the Mataura Meat Processing plant.

“Talks have shown the building would be ideal for such a project.

“Alliance has given us until February 2020 to say yes or no whether we can make it viable and whether we can have a sound business proposition to do it.”

The next step would be to establish a steering group to manage the project.

“We will then establish a legal entity that will be run by the community, in the form of a trust.”

After the meeting, Mataura Medical Centre doctor Elaine Munro said her team was very excited about the possibility of the new hub.

“The medical hub idea is a fantastic opportunity to expand the service we currently have in the community.

“It will be a great asset for the future,” Dr Munro said.