CONSTRUCTION of a $7 million super clinic at Tweed Heads South started today and the member for Richmond, MP Justine Elliot, was on hand to turn the proverbial first sod.
Mrs Elliot said she was excited to give construction workers the green light after a comprehensive tender process and lengthy approval procedures.
Mrs Elliot said the new facility would offer patients a one-stop-shop where primary health care services were complimented by allied health provisions such as physiotherapy, psychology and pathology.
Ausjendia Pty Ltd, a group of local general practitioners, will run the clinic and also offer education opportunities for medical, nursing and allied health students.
Ausjendia doctor Diane Blanckensee said she hoped the clinic would become the "medical home" of patients in the Tweed where residents came for all their primary health care.
Doctor Blanckensee said the clinic's doctors would focus on prevention to ensure patients didn't have to go to hospital unnecessarily.
Doctor Blanckensee's colleague Dr Austin Sterne said the clinic would offer well-organised primary care and aimed to attract more allied health care and more doctors to the area.
Mrs Elliot said the clinic would help take some of the pressure off Tweed Heads Hospital and considering the large number of elderly residents would be a fantastic resource for the local population.
The federal government had invested a significant amount of money in health care in the Tweed and because the clinic would make a real difference to the local community, residents had been 100% behind the project.
"Locals asked for better health services before the last election and I'm pleased this service is closer to reality with the start of construction.
"The GP super clinic will deliver better access to health services in a single convenient location.
"This service will help take the pressure off the very busy Tweed hospital, it will deliver better local access to integrated health services and it will provide construction jobs over the coming months," Mrs Elliot said.
Construction will take place over the next 12 months with the official opening planned for this time next year.