Health scare not critical for Riverton centre

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 17/12/2012

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The Riverton Medical Centre's new building was formally opened at a small ceremony yesterday afternoon.

The opening came after a brief scare when the original building contractors CS Homes Ltd went into voluntary liquidation last month.

But thanks to the efforts of Southland builder Kevin Clark and other sub-contractors the new building was completed without delay.

The centre's principal GP, William Grove, said there had been some anxious moments when CS Homes Ltd went into liquidation with the building 95 per cent completed.

"It was a bit worrying for a time but after meeting with liquidators and the support of Kevin Clark, we were able to finish the job," Dr Grove said.

The ribbon was cut by Emily Fraser, who is Dr Grove's longest- standing patient.

Dr Grove said it was fitting 16-year-old Ms Fraser had the honour of opening the state of the art medical facility.

"I've known Emily her whole life from when I first met her in the neo-natal clinic. You could call her my longest-surviving patient."

Emily and her mother, Sandra Freeman, travel from Invercargill to visit Dr Grove and Ms Freeman said the new facility was even more reason to continue coming to Riverton.

"This is a fantastic facility with the most modern equipment," she said.

The purpose-built medical centre will feature physiotherapy rooms, a podiatrist, counselling, blood testing and diabetes clinics. It will house the district nurse, along with two doctors and two nurses.

There is a setup for medical students to complete practical placements and there is pre-hospital emergency care and a minor operating theatre.

Servicing more than 2000 registered patients, Riverton Community Medical Trust chairman Ewen Mathieson said the medical centre was an important service for Riverton and surrounding communities. "Having a facility such as this is huge for the area."

The centre would ensure the continuity of medical care for Riverton and Western Southland for many years to come, he said.

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