Health centre to expand

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Spreading out...Checking out the site where the new rooms for the Gore Health Centre medical practice will be built are (from left) Gore Health chief executive Karl Metzler, Gore Health Incorporated trustee Warren Aitken, Gore Health Ltd chairman Ewen Whitefield, Gore Health business manager Rhonda Reid and Gore Health Incorporated chairman Peter Grant. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The Gore Health Centre medical practice is spreading its wings.

Plans have been drawn up to extend the GP practice by 170sqm.

Gore Health Ltd board chairman Ewen Whitefield said planning for the expansion had been going on for about two years.

“We’ve had good growth in the GP practice,” Mr Whitefield said.

The practice was located in a building that was 22 years old.

“It needs a refreshment but we need more space.

“It’s exciting to see it getting to this stage.”

In 2009, when the practice started, it had 3104 registered patients, which had now grown to 5060 patients.

The extension would be built in two stages and would include four additional consulting rooms, a minor surgical procedures room and a larger waiting room.

Gore Health chief executive Karl Metzler said tenders were called for in April and Carpentry South Ltd was chosen for the project.

“We are delighted that it will be undertaken by a local firm using local labour and subcontractors, which is fantastic,” Mr Metzler said.

There was limited wheelchair access to the practice so part of the renovation would include a ramp.

“That’s a big positive for us.”

The project was expected to cost between $1million and $1.5million.

Once the work was finished the practice would have a far improved reception and waiting area, he said.

“The additional space the extension provides will greatly enhance not only working conditions for our staff but also offer a better facility for our patients and gives us the opportunity to expand our GP services.”

The new surgical procedures room would take some pressure off the hospital.

“Day case patients that currently take up a hospital bed could be treated in this room, allowing beds to be kept for medical and rehabilitation patients.”

Mr Metzler would welcome community donations.

“It’s a community-owned resource – it’s not a business as such like other medical centres.”

Building was due to start on July 6 subject to a building consent and would take about eight months.

” We ask for the public’s patience because it will be disruptive.

“The hospital and the GP practice will have a shared reception for several months.”