Ribbon cut for Ormiston Medical Centre

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Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall, left, and Health Improvement Group chairman Mark Conelly cutting the ribbon. Times photo Wayne Martin

After months of delays due to Covid-19, the ribbon for the official opening of a local medical centre has been cut by the Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall.

It was in 2012 when the planning for Ormiston Medical Centre began.

The Times reported in October 2019 that original developer Todd Property had broken ground on a 3000sqm, three-level medical centre at 211 Ormiston Road.

And after 18 months of being open, Ormiston Medical Centre has amassed an enrolment of about 8000 patients from the surrounding and local regions.

Once speeches were completed and the ribbon was ceremoniously cut by Verrall and Health Improvement Group chairman Mark Conelly, a grand tour was given to the guests, including Verrall, Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, Labour List MP Naisi Chen, and Takanini MP Dr Anae Neru Leavasa.

With the rapid population increase of Ormiston, East Health Services and East Care Group have worked together as a joint venture to establish a Health Improvement hub that reflects this increase and local character.

The health hub incorporates a range of services for patients – general practice, pharmacy, dental, eye, radiology, physiotherapy and rehabilitation – to meet the needs of the local community by providing access to them all within one location.

Co-CEO Loretta Hansen says that their aim is to provide patients with highest quality of care and the best possible outcomes and patient experience, but at an affordable cost.

“At Ormiston, our clinic is open for new patients to enrol and the cost is less than $20 per visit,” Hansen says.

“We have a growing patient list across all our sites in east Auckland and people are telling us they appreciate the ease of access we’re providing at Ormiston to coordinated services within an innovative, one stop shop model.

“This model is about more than simply ‘co-location’ of GPs with other tenants. We’re building a genuinely coordinated service so our community is not having to navigate around a series of independent services in a range of different locations.”

Verrall says that the co-located services are also a benefit to the providers.

“The idea of being co-located, you come to understand other people’s practice more. You can make better referrals because you can follow the paths of your shared patients together”.

Hansen told the Times that the location of the centre was chosen because of the projected growth of the region at the time (2012), and of the opportunity of providing an integrated and coordinated service.

“It was supposed to get to the size of Tauranga pretty quickly!”

Co-CEO Benedict Hefford says, “Our urgent and primary care clinics have come under the same workforce, and winter and Covid pressures as the rest of the system, but we have not reduced hours or access because we recognise the vital role primary care plays in meeting local needs”.

East Health Services and East Care jointly own three additional medical centres in the local community – Botany Junction Medical, Sommerville Surgery and Highbrook Medical which opened in April 2020.

East Health Services also has part ownership in a fourth, Beachlands Medical Centre.