GLOUCESTER could have a new medical centre by the end of 2014.
Don Dunlop and his wife Dr Michelle Hogg have lodged a development application with Gloucester Shire Council to build the new 10-room centre on a vacant block on Denison St.
“The existing medical centre has five rooms,” Dr Hogg said.
“When we had our crisis of doctor numbers several years ago, one of the things that made it hard to recruit new doctors was our lack of rooms.
“The impracticalities of our current situation at the centre have forced our hand.”
The existing medical centre, on the corner of King and Barrington streets, was built just under two decades ago.
“It was built as a medical centre, but it was never envisioned the practice would get so big,” Dr Hogg said.
Dr Hogg said the ideal scenario would have been to extend the existing surgery, but that had not been possible.
“We’ve been looking for a new site since July last year,” she said.
“The site we’ve found is not ideal, but it’s really the only location where we could build it.
“The main street was completely out because it’s in a flood zone. Other sites just didn’t meet our requirements.”
Six doctors and a registrar are currently employed by the centre along with just over a dozen staff.
Dr Hogg said the new centre would make it easier to attract clinicians and specialists to town.
“Pathology will move with us as will the allied health services,” she said.
“We have a podiatrist, a psychologist and an audiologist working out of the clinic but with more room we’ll hopefully be able to attract dieticians, more psychologists and specialists.
“At the moment anyone that comes to Gloucester has to ring well in advance to find out if there’s a room free.”
The development application is on public exhibition at council’s administration building until January 23.
Dr Hogg said the couple would settle on a builder once the development had been approved by council.