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New Community Health And Medical Centre

Greenhills to lease the old police house to the Korumburra Medical Centre and Gippsland Southern Health Service

By Jennie Deane - 3rd September 2002 - Back to News

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A Community Health Service and Medical Centre for the Loch/Poowong/Nyora District will soon open in Loch. Greenhills has arranged to lease the old police house it owns at 21 Clarence Street to the Korumburra Medical Centre and Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS). The three parties see this as a very exciting new venture and the beginning of a major community health development for the area.

Commencing within the next two months, the Korumburra Medical Centre will provide a medical consultation service. Dr. Mark Bensley, speaking on behalf of the Korumburra Medical Centre, said that a doctor and a medical receptionist will be on duty each day Monday to Friday for a half day. This will make the Medical Centre more accessible to residents in this area. The service may well expand its hours if needed in future.

The Community Health Nurse from GSHS who currently works out of the Loch Masonic Hall one day a week will be relocated to the new Community Health Centre. When announcing this, Gary Templeton, Chief Executive Officer of GSHS said that he is most grateful for the support of the Masonic Lodge in accommodating the nurse to date. The Lodge has assisted the nurse in many ways and has been particularly helpful. However the opportunity for the nurse to work in the new Community Health Centre in close proximity to other health services is viewed as important in enhancing the health of the local community in the long term. The weekly Day Centre service will continue to be based in the Masonic Hall, as it has been for the past 15 years.

GSHS plans to bring other services such as podiatry and counselling services to the centre in time. This will be of enormous benefit to the communities in the districts of Loch, Nyora and Poowong and possibly for people from further afield who have difficulty accessing medical and community health services.

Jennie Deane, President of Greenhills, said that the timing for all this has been amazing. She learnt a few weeks ago that the tenants in the police house had given notice as they have decided to return to Melbourne. The same week, she was approached by the Medical Centre to see if there were any suitable premises for the doctors. Subsequent talks with Dr Bensley and Nadine Smith (the Korumburra Medical Centre Manager) and Gary Templeton led to them all putting together the plan for the new centre.

The old police residence needs some renovating, as well as the installation of wheelchair access, and additional funds are now being sought to cover the costs.

After the new police station was built on the highway, Greenhills acquired the Police Station, House and Lock-up complex with the support of the State Government and a generous donation by an anonymous local organisation. At that stage it was intended that the land would eventually be used to extend residential care. However advice from expert aged care consultants has shown that this would not be feasible for many reasons. Since then the Greenhills Committee of Management has been considering the best use of the house and land. In recent discussions with GSHS, the vision of having a community health complex in Loch to provide services to the whole area was developed. There are already such centres in Tarwin Lower and San Remo, and GSHS has recently established a new one in Mirboo North. It makes a lot of sense for the Loch/ Poowong/Nyora area to have a similar service. There was a community health service originally in Nyora, but this unfortunately closed some time ago.

Jennie Deane said that she really hopes that the Nyora people will view the Loch based health service as a suitable replacement and use it accordingly. Jennie also said that this development secures the place of Greenhills in the community. The aged care hostel will not only be able to continue into the future but will also be linked to other services of benefit to the whole community, for people of any age. She especially paid tribute to the contribution of Alan Fraser, the Greenhills Treasurer. Alan was the one who developed the plan for a fund raising appeal, and who has obtained significant financial support from a number of people and families over the past two years. It is largely his work which has cemented the financial security of Greenhills.


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