'Be patient' on medical centre

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 08/01/2013
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CRAIG BATES
Hawera's Southcare Medical Centre

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Hawera residents will have to wait a little longer to hear the fate of their Southcare medical centre.

The centre's trust publicly announced the review into its sustainability late last year and had hoped it would be finished before Christmas.

Chairwoman Ella Borrows wouldn't be drawn on the exact nature of the delays other than to say they were still negotiating with staff and contractors.

"These things always take time," she said. "I'm wanting to be fair to all employees. I must admit that we thought it would have been done by the end of the year."

Mrs Borrows said they were reviewing all aspects of the centre to create a "strong and sustainable model" and that people didn't need to be alarmed by it.

Change has been rife at the medical centre over the last few months, including the shock resignation of general manager Kevin Simpson and the revelation two long-term doctors had resigned.

One of the first administrative changes to come during the review was a new Hamilton-based call centre.

The 24-hour call centre, known as PAC, managed by Midlands Health Network and Medibank, has been taking up to 1200 calls a week since its inception.

The PAC system was similar to Plunketline or Healthline in providing health advice and directing patients to the right place.

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