Medical centre to open as planned
THE Gatton Plaza Medical Centre will open its new premises on November 10, as scheduled, despite having a building application knocked back last week.
On Friday, centre principal, Dr Peter Bevan, met with the planning department to discuss a building application for refurbishments to the inside of the building.
Dr Bevan was advised to hire a consultant, which could delay the opening of the new premises at 18 William Street, Gatton, by three months or longer.
“As we currently see over 1000 consultations a week at Gatton this will affect many, many patients. A significant number, especially the old and frail, will be unable or unwilling to travel for care,” he said.
“As well, we are the only practice in town open over both days of the weekend, typically seeing 100-150 patients in these two days.”
With the lease running out on the current location in the Gatton Plaza, Dr Bevan met with Lockyer Valley mayor Steve Jones to air his concerns over the decision made by the planning department.
Mayor Jones was unhappy with the way the situation was handled and called for a special meeting with Dr Bevan and the councillors to be held on Monday.
At the meeting the councillors made a decision to support Dr Bevan and the Gatton Plaza Medical Centre in its move to shift locations.
Mayor Jones said council would work together with Dr Bevan to make sure that the new centre was open by November 10.
“We have to make sure they get in there by this date,” he said.
“Most country towns are struggling to get doctors and we have an opportunity here which we need to take.
“We have to encourage our staff to be more positive with these types of projects.”
Councillor Peter Friend was shocked that a special meeting was needed to help fix this problem.
“This issue highlights some of the problems in this area,” he said.
“It's time we started looking at all the complaints coming through this council and addressed these issues.”
On Tuesday a relieved Dr Bevan said he would now turn his attention towards making sure that the new building was up and running by November 10.
“All the councillors were very helpful, especially the mayor.
“We have a bit of work to do on the new building but will work seven days a week if we need to make sure we are open in time.”