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Mission seeks materials for medical centre

Mission seeks materials for medical centre

Auckland City Mission has a very special Christmas wish this year – help from the city’s businesses to build its brand new healthcare clinic.

The new medical facility will service low income people in the inner city and Aucklanders who have been marginalised through poverty, ill health, addiction and trauma.

Design of the 200 sq m facility is now complete thanks to the generosity of Auckland Architects Peddle Thorp and others who are donating their services, however donations of labour and building materials are still needed.

Until 18 months ago the mission utilised a visiting GP service. It then established its Calder Centre – named for Auckland’s first City Missioner, Jasper Calder – within existing premises.

“But it had been up and running only 12 months and already it was too small,” City Missioner Diane Robertson says. “We have 1,000 people enrolled and that doesn’t even count the walk-ins we have every day.”

Ms Robertson is encouraging Auckland business to get on board with the project and donate materials and trade labour to help complete the centre by autumn before winter sets in.

Peddle Thorp was recruited to help with design by Matrix Group director David Wilkie. The architectural practice is bringing its specialist medical architectural skills to the design of the centre.

So far the Auckland businesses have collectively contributed in excess of $80,000 in services to the project.

Peddle Thorp director Richard Goldie says the centre needs a full range of construction materials including ceiling systems, lighting, plumbing, flooring, paint and labour to make it all happen.

“We’ve taken this project on as a sort of Christmas present to our clients. Rather than sending the usual corporate gift we thought we’d give something tangible back to the Auckland community. We’re asking other businesses to do the same – every donation of time or material will help.”

The new, fully functional centre will be open to the public. It will be staffed by GPs, a nurse, receptionist and a practice manager with consulting and treatment rooms, an office for the GP and a pharmacy.

Ms Robertson says the centre is targeted at inner city residents on low incomes and homeless people who can’t afford a visit to the doctor.

“If they can pay, it costs $15 a visit; if they can’t, it’s free and we refer the patient on to our social workers,” she says.

Auckland City Mission also runs free hearing checks and psychological services and provides drug and alcohol help, social services and services to the homeless.

“There are major benefits for homeless people as their health improves and they’re also making less visits to hospital Accident and Emergency departments,” Ms Robertson says.

“But the most important thing is people who might not otherwise seek treatment for serious ailments – such as diabetes – are more likely to visit us because it is accessible, low cost and in some instances free.”

ENDS

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