$1.8m for new medical centre

About $2 million is needed to bring New Zealand's most isolated medical centre into the 21st century, the High Country Medical Trust revealed this week.

The trust formed two years ago to raise funds to replace Twizel's medical centre.

Trust chairman Simon Williamson said the converted house that housed the centre was not up to the demands of a modern practice. Plans and costs for a new building had now been finished.

An official fundraising opening would take place on January 24.

Mr Williamson said $1.8 million was needed to build the new facility, which would be close to the St John Ambulance Twizel depot, and within easy reach of helicopter services.

He said the Twizel Medical Centre, which had 1600 enrolled patients, was the most isolated in the country and operated 365 days of the year, servicing the local population and holidaymakers, yet no government funding had been available for a new centre.

''So it is up to us as a community to ensure that we have an up-to-date medical centre and actively seek all funding opportunities,'' Mr Williamson said.

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz

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