12 July, 2019
Big new medical centre planned for former BNZ
A large new medical centre staffed by up to nine local GPs is planned for central Devonport.
OmniHealth, a national general-practice company, has signed a lease for the former BNZ building, and submitted plans to Auckland Council for a resource consent, chief executive Mark Wills told the Flagstaff.
“OmniHealth works in partnership with practices to own and operate the practices and let the doctors focus on being clinicians and providing great service,” Wills says.
The proposed Devonport Health Centre at 20 to 22 Victoria Rd, which has 16 car parks on the roof, will include a practice of seven to nine GPs, plus nurses and healthcare assistants, a pharmacy and possibly provision of x-rays and blood tests, Wills says.
The new centre is the culmination of a series of changes to general practice operations over the past year.
Anne St Medical, which is owned by OmniHealth, told the Flagstaff last year (7 December) it hoped to move and expand. The practice will move into the new building.
More recently, OmniHealth purchased the Devonport Medical Centre at Kings Store on Lake Rd. This will also move into the new centre.
Former Devonport GPs Dr Grant Smith and Dr Erica Lauder, who both moved out of Devonport Family Medicine in Fleet St earlier this year, will be part of the new medical centre.
Dr Smith, who sold his share in Devonport Family Medicine last year, has returned from his travels and is working part-time at Anne St Medical. Dr Lauder will soon be working at Devonport Medical Centre on Lake Rd.
OmniHealth provides finance, HR and administration services. Its aim is to support GPs, who are usually very busy, Wills says.
The larger practice also makes it easier for GPs to work flexible hours and take holidays, Wills says.
For patients, the new centre will offer extended hours, meaning patients can see a doctor, before hopping on a ferry to work for example, he says.
At Devonport Health Centre, some GPs will be shareholders, while others are employees, Wills says.
As well as an interior fit-out, Devonport architect Chris Hume has designed a new facade, which Wills says will improve the look of the building’s street frontage.
Wills wasn’t able to say when the centre would open, given the need to gain resource and building consents, followed by the renovations.
This article originally appeared in the July 12 edition of The Devonport Flagstaff. Download PDF.