Past and present GPs returned to Gulgong this week for the official opening of the town’s new medical centre.
The new Herbert Street centre has been operating for six weeks after more than 30 years in Mayne Street.
Recently retired Dr Mike Nicholson cut the ribbon alongside Dr Hussain Alseneid who has worked tirelessly to establish the new centre and attract new doctors to Gulgong.
Gulgong resident Sue Fuller said the centre, with the addition of two new doctors, means less travel for many patients.
“Hussein’s got a vision to have a lot of visiting specialists. He’s looking to get an ultrasound machine so that people don’t have to travel out of town which is going to be wonderful,” Mrs Fuller said.
“We won’t have to be going to Dubbo all the time or even Mudgee so it’s going to mean a lot for the people of Gulgong. We’re an aging population here and our people need to be able to get facilities here so it’s just fantastic.”
She said an inclusive medical centre is something that Gulgong has not previously had.
“We’ve had doctor’s rooms but never like a medical centre where you can come and get everything, similar to Mudgee,” Mrs Fuller said.
“We’ve gone from having one doctor to being able to have three and it’s just wonderful. I’ve got an older mum and it’s just great she won’t have to be travelling.
“You’ve got all your pathology here, you’ll have visiting heart specialists come, all sorts of people.”
The move has created a health precinct with Country Physiotherapy in the adjoining Cudgegong House.
Physiotherapist Liz O’Brien said the close proximity of the practices will be a major benefit to patients.
“Already it’s made a big difference as we try and work together and take a more holistic approach to client management,” Ms O’Brien said.
“Our physio practice isn’t a traditional physio practice in that we have the pilates studio and the 24 hour gym. So we’re trying to make it a really healthy place where people can come whether they’re injured or healthy and having the medical practitioners right next door leads to an easier referral.
“For Gulgong in general it is a good thing. So many towns are losing their services and so to have this centre is really positive and a lot of people, particularly elderly people, they have to leave small communities if they don’t have the health services there so the flow on effect for the whole community is huge.”