Te Kuiti Medical Centre now on solid ground
Te Kuiti Medical Centre practice manager Bernie Barry-Addy no longer has to worry that he and his office would be the first to slide down the slope in the event of a natural disaster at the Te Kuiti Hospital site.
Invited guests marked the completion of an $850,000 refurbishment of the centre, undertaken by Waikato District Health Board over seven months, at a function in the King Country town on Tuesday (St Patrick’s Day).
And they celebrated the 21st anniversary of the medical centre’s establishment on the hospital grounds at the same time.
Bernie’s office was in the old northern wing which most agreed would be the first to go if the old building fell victim to an earthquake or land slip.
Just over a year ago, as part of a requirement by all government organisations post the Canterbury Earthquake, Waikato DHB undertook seismic evaluations of all its buildings. The Te Kuiti Medical Centre’s pile foundations were partly on solid ground and partly on land at risk of subsidence.
Work began in September last year and included a new wing to the west of the administration area and also to the entrance of the centre. The heli-pad was also repositioned, trees cleared, fences fixed and power lines moved.
Inside the centre are a two-bed treatment room, minor surgery and clean room, immunisation, dirty utility and six consultation rooms.
The original centre opened in 1993 primarily in response to the perceived difficulties in maintaining a reliable workforce to provide medical services for Te Kuiti Hospital. The building had been the hospital’s geriatric unit.
Instrumental to its establishment was present day cardiologist and board member Dr Clyde Wade, then clinical lead for rurals at Waikato Area Health Board.
Today the medical centre has seven general practitioners. Dr Keith Buswell, who has been there from the start, Caitlin Gill, Amy Kempthorne, Helen Fisher, David McLean, Anne Farnell and Elly Kroef.
Included in the ceremony was cutting of a cake marking 21 years by Malcolm Lundie, the DHB’s business support manager for Rural and Community services.