Monday, 19 August 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Memorandum of understanding regarding new Mercury Bay medical facility signed

The Mercury Bay Medical Facility Trust and the owners of Mercury Bay Medical Centre (the “White House”) in Albert Street, Whitianga signed on Wednesday last week a memorandum of understanding to jointly investigate the feasibility of developing a new multi-service medical facility in Whitianga.

“We’re delighted to have signed the memorandum of understanding,” says trust chair, Murray McLean. “To have a group of local medical practitioners on board is providing a stable foundation to progress work on a custom-designed facility that we hope will ultimately provide the people of Mercury Bay with better medical care.”

Whitianga Waterways made land available for the development of a medical facility in 2016. At approximately the same time, the Mercury Bay Community Board and Thames-Coromandel District Council earmarked $250,000 of “seed funding” towards a business case for, and planning and consenting of the facility. To date, approximately $30,000 of the seed funding has been spent on negotiations with a variety of parties, the scoping of development costs, determining the needs the facility will have to satisfy and identifying any financial risks the trust, as a community organisation, will have to contend with in the development and ongoing management of the facility.

“The trustees of the trust are well aware that we represent the community,” says Murray. “We’ve been very prudent with our spending to date and will continue to be careful going forward. The next steps from here will be to work with the owners of Mercury Bay Medical Centre to better define what the facility should offer, get a preliminary design drawn up, get more accurate costings on the table, consider fundraising and other funding options and continue negotiations with other stakeholders and potential users of the facility.

“We also understand the importance of keeping the Waikato District Health Board informed of our progress. We’ve already had discussions with the DHB about the facility and understand their financial constraints, but will make sure that our planning is done in such a way to accommodate any future requirements they may have in providing patients in Mercury Bay and the top half of the Coromandel Peninsula with improved and more costs effective medical care.”

Whitianga Waterways is pleased with the signing of the memorandum of understanding. “It’s a great step forward,” says Peter Abrahamson, the Whitianga Waterways manager. “A multi-service medical facility will be a great asset to the Mercury Bay area.  We’re looking forward to future conversations with the Mercury Bay Medical Facility Trust.”

The owners of Mercury Bay Medical Centre says they signed the Memorandum of Understanding as they would like to be part of a purpose built facility that will enable the co-location of a range of health care providers that will best suit the growing needs of the Mercury Bay community.

Pictured: Those present when a memorandum of understanding between the Mercury Bay Medical Facility Trust and the owners of Mercury Bay Medical Centre regarding a new multi-service medical facility in Whitianga was signed on Wednesday last week. Back, from the left - Merv George (trustee of the Mercury Bay Medical Facility Trust), Hannah Walker (owner of Mercury Bay Medical Centre) and Kevin Pringle (trustee of the Mercury Bay Medical Facility Trust). Front, from the left - Adele Pudney (owner of Mercury Bay Medical Centre), Dan Asquith (owner of Mercury Bay Medical Centre) and Murray Mclean (chairman of the Mercury Bay Medical Facility Trust).

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.