Moss Vale Medical Centre expansion begins

THE $1.7 million Moss Vale Medical Centre expansion is well underway and Throsby MP Stephen Jones was on hand on Monday to see how things were progressing.

The roof on the first stage of the expansion was erected last week using locally sourced materials and weather permitting, could be completed by September.

The centre’s owner, Dr Vincent Roche, said the expansion could potentially double the number of consulting rooms, allowing them to offer more services to the Moss Vale community, all under one roof.

“Moss Vale is very undersupplied at the moment. Most specialist health practitioners operate in Bowral,” he said. “There’s currently about one doctor per 1500 people in Moss Vale whereas in Bowral, there is about one to 780 people.

“Most country towns hope for one doctor in 1000-1200. The ratio in Moss Vale is worse than in many rural areas.” He said the centre must grow organically in order to attract doctors and fill the rooms.

“Patients from Moss Vale, who can afford it go to Bowral,” he said. “It’s the poor who miss out. Because they won’t travel to Bowral, they just don’t get services at all.”

The Federal Government contributed $500,000 to the total cost of the project under the Super Clinics program.

Mr Jones said the idea behind the program was to keep people out of hospitals. “We need to have a proactive approach, particularly in areas where there are endemic health issues, such as with diabetes,” he said.

“The idea is to have multi-disciplinary practices under the one roof; doctors, nurses, dieticians, speech pathologists, physiotherapists and the like.

“But it also needs to be big enough to have the facilities to act as a centre for education and ongoing professional development.”

“You just don’t have this in Moss Vale at the moment.”

Mr Jones also paid credit to builder Garry Turland for sourcing materials used in the project locally, saying it was important because it helped keep local people in jobs.

Helen Portus, Stephen Jones and Dr Vince Roche

Helen Portus, Stephen Jones and Dr Vince Roche

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