Moturoa Medical Center in New Plymouth opens new premises and plans to expand services

Carefirst Group Chief Executive Leigh Sampson and Senior GP Dr Sarah Prior celebrate the opening of its new premises at Carefirst Moturoa Medical Center on Tuesday.

VANESSA LAURIE / Stuff

Carefirst Group Chief Executive Leigh Sampson and Senior GP Dr Sarah Prior celebrate the opening of its new premises at Carefirst Moturoa Medical Center on Tuesday.

Patients visiting Carefirst Moturoa Medical Center on Tuesday were surprised.

It was the centre’s first day in its new premises, a converted TSB bank.

The medical center has literally moved next to the old bank building, which Carefirst has spent the last six months renovating into a modern, purpose-built medical centre, said Leigh Sampson, managing director of Carefirst Group.

”We were very cramped in the old facility. It was really a two GP facility. We know there are many people around Moturoa, Marfell, Spotswood who do not have a GP so we knew there was a need for increased care for patients in the community.

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But they couldn’t do that in the old facility.

”Every day we had patients who wanted to join us, and we couldn’t integrate them. The real goal we want to achieve is to provide more care to more people in the Moturoa area. ”

At the moment, the medical center is taking patients if they are a family member of an existing patient. But they hope to find a new GP by the end of the year and start accepting new patients.

”A healthier community is what all that hard work has gone towards.”

Carefirst has owned the medical center since November 2017.

Staff at Carefirst Moturoa Medical Center who were falling over themselves in their old building now have plenty of room to move around.

VANESSA LAURIE / Stuff

Staff at Carefirst Moturoa Medical Center who were falling over themselves in their old building now have plenty of room to move around.

Construction and procurement delays added six months to a year to the rebuilding process and increased costs by 20 to 30 percent, Sampson said.

Moturoa Medical Centre’s chief GP, Dr Sarah Prior, said the new space “is amazing”.

“We were bumping into each other, so it’s really nice to have more space and a nicer space.”

The new premises are much more welcoming for patients, with a nice large waiting room.

”It’s good that we have this space, but it’s to allow us to extend our care. Not being able to take on new patients when you know they need care is always frustrating. It’s really discouraging.”

And the increased space means there’s room for an extended care team. A physiotherapist has set up a room and hopes other medical professionals will also come to Moturoa, Prior said.

They are working to find a health improvement practitioner, who is a “fantastic service as a social worker”.

They are not clinical, so not doctors or nurses, but they guide patients and provide them with the appropriate support and advice, Prior said.

Richard F. Gandhi