NEARLY four times bigger than its old premises down the road, The Healthcare Centre in Morwell’s new building on Princes Highway is “99 per cent complete”, according to practice manager Julie Sullivan.
Speaking to The Express recently, Ms Sullivan said some surgeons had moved in, and the chemist was ready to move in pending final Medicare registration approvals.
“Other than that, and some signwriting, the building is completed,” Ms Sullivan said, adding staff were “very excited and recharged” about the new premises, which opened its doors to the public last Monday.
The new facilities include four more consulting rooms than the previous premises, bringing the total number to 12, a bigger nursing area and casualty after-hours area, two theatre rooms, four treatment rooms and four allied health rooms, with two already successfully rented out.
The centre received nearly $24,000 from the Federal Government last year to include two new student rooms as well as a training room with multimedia equipment as part of the government’s Super Clinic model.
“The medical students are coming in May,” Ms Sullivan said.
The Healthcare Centre presently has seven general practitioners, with an additional GP to start at the end of the month or in early May, she said.
“We want to have it that all our rooms are occupied and offer the best possible service in the area; we want to bring in more doctors,” Ms Sullivan said.
“I think there is certainly a demand for (healthcare services), especially after hours.”
Ms Sullivan said while they had not yet expanded the number of nurses and other staff to support the expanded practice, it was something management were considering.
“We’ve got quite a big casual base (of staff) putting their hands up for more hours, so we think we will probably expand,” she said, adding they did not yet know how many staff the centre would require at capacity.
The move to the new premises comes after a 20-year residency at its previous premises.
The new building was initially expected to be completed in late 2011, but faced some delays due to various approval requirements, Ms Sullivan said.
“Overall, we have had positive comments from the public; some have told me ‘this is just what Morwell needs’,” she said.
“This side of town is very quiet, so hopefully (our presence) will bring more life back into it.”
On The Express’ Facebook page, a number of readers shared their approval of the new facilities.
“It’s lovely,” reader Meg Jefferyes said.
“It’s nice and spacious; I work (in pathology) and the rooms are clean and welcoming.”