Quake exodus fuels enrolments

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 14:54 07/11/2012

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Since the Wairau Community Clinic opened its doors at the beginning of April some 1500 Marlborough residents have registered with its three doctors, such is the demand in the region.

There are still about 300 places available for new patients before they reach their maximum capacity of 1800.

Practice manager Sarah Maskill said the clinic was set up by the Marlborough Primary Health Organisation in response to the shortage of general practitioners in the region.

The clinic officially opened on April 2, with lead GP, Scott Cameron.

He was joined by two more doctors, Joseph Lee in June and Ranjeeta Matharu in September.

"It was pretty busy in the beginning. There was a lot of administrative work needed - getting the new patients' background information sorted and that sort of thing," said Dr Cameron.

The three doctors don't work fulltime at the clinic, with their hours spread between it and other practices in Marlborough. Two nurses, a receptionist and a practice manager are also employed at the clinic.

Mrs Maskill said the high patient-to-doctor ratio in Marlborough was largely because of the influx of former Christchurch residents, with many of the these residents having enrolled at the clinic.

"It's been a very busy six months because there is always a lot of work that goes into registering new patients.

For an appointment or enrolment information at Wairau Community Clinic, call 03 520 6377.

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- The Marlborough Express

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