The community is set to reap the benefits of a new state of the art health facility at Lake Cathie after its construction was officially marked on Wednesday, March 6.
Lake Cathie Medical Centre owner and doctor Samuel Nelapati said it's been a long time coming and he was glad to see the work was finally underway.
The facility will house a hydrotherapy pool, physiotherapy practice and rehabilitation centre. The development application for the project was approved in June, 2018.
The centre will include five consulting rooms and increased gym floor space.
Dr Nelapati said the hub will benefit the wider community by taking the pressure off hospital staff and facilities.
Federal Minister for Lyne Dr David Gillespie was present to mark the official start of construction for the facility, which is expected to cost $1.8 million.
Dr Gillespie said the Government’s Rural and Regional Teaching Infrastructure Grants programme is a competitive process. The Federal Coalition Government invested $300,000 towards the project through the grants program.
Dr Gillespie said when he was in the federal government's health ministry the project came across his desk and he gave it a 'big tick'.
By providing additional rooms and resources, the new hub will provide a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation service.
“This will mean increased numbers of physiotherapists as well as expanding allied health services to eventually include occupational therapists and exercise physiologists,” Dr Nelapati said.
Barry Spencer is a physiotherapist at the Lake Cathie Medical Centre and said the new facility will enable staff to offer their patients more services for their treatment and for preventative care.
"Obviously the hydrotherapy pool will be a big part of that," he said.
Barry said the new facility will not only benefit the older demographic in the area but will also be open to the broader community.
"We're looking at what we can do out of hours for sporting clubs and general exercise classes for the community as well," he said.
Lake Cathie Medical Centre chief executive officer Nicole Lewis-Bain said there are plans for expansion in the future, as the facility is situated on four acres of land.
Nicole said while there are no immediate plans to upgrade the parking facility at the centre, it might be something they might review in the future.