The new Mirboo North Medical Centre opened at the weekend.
The $1.9 million modern medical and allied health facility includes five consulting rooms, two treatment rooms and a pathology room.
The new facility, built on Ridgway by the Mirboo North and District Community Foundation, provides twice the space of the current centre’s premises.
“The Community Foundation built this facility to strengthen and sustain the medical services across our district,” Community Foundation chair Paul Pratt said.
“We have worked closely with the Mirboo North Medical Centre practice to help secure their mission of providing a medical and health service of excellence without financial discrimination.”
Dr Sonya Moncrieff said the purpose-built facility had exceeded all expectations.
“It will provide better access to medical and allied health services for all in our community,” Dr Moncrieff said.
“The existing clinic had no space to accommodate additional medical practitioners. With a significant expansion from two to five consulting rooms, we are aiming to have a strong medical team, including four Doctors, and various Allied Health Professionals.”
The facility is an asset that will sit on the Community Foundation’s balance sheet and is classified as an ‘impact’ investment.
This means it has a lower financial return (compared to its broader investment portfolio) but a significant social return in the form of the improved
community health outcomes.
“We know from the Mirboo North & District Vital Signs Report that half of the residents in the area are health care card holders,” executive officer Ruth Rogan said.
“A larger medical facility which provides increased access to bulk billing doctors, will have a big impact on the health of our communities.”
There is a wonderful circularity to this story, as the Community Foundation’s origins were in community healthcare.
The Mirboo North Bush Nursing Hospital, which was built in 1932, became Mirboo North Aged Care in 1994 and was sold in 2008 for $5 million.
The Community Foundation was created to hold the proceeds from the sale and to invest it for the future of the communities that had previously used the hospital.
“Through these investments and generous community donations the Community Foundation now has a perpetual fund of more than $8 million and has given more than $1.5 million back to the community through grants and sponsorships,” Mr Pratt said.
“The medical centre is the Community Foundation’s most significant undertaking and one that stands to serve those who live in and around Mirboo North for generations.”