Along came Wanaka’s first lady doctor

Aspiring Medical Centre was established by Dr Susie Meyer in 1995, initially as a sole practice, operating out of a small room behind the dentist.

On the first day eight patients attended the clinic and for the first year Susie was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for her patients.

In 1996 she was joined by Dr Lucy O’Hagan.  Female doctors were a new thing in Wanaka at that time and people asked questions like “does your doctor write prescriptions?” or “does your doctor stitch people up?”

In 1998 the practice moved to the premises in Dungarvon St and added an X-ray service and a male doctor, Dr Simon Brebner.  He was also very good at writing prescriptions and stitching people up!  In 2005 the practise was fortunate to recruit Dr Jayne Davies from the UK, who joined as a partner.

“Our caring and committed team now numbers 17 staff and doctors who look after a population of thousands,” says practice manager Sally Battson.  “We all feel it is a great
privilege to live and work in the Wanaka community and be part of people’s lives in both sickness and in health.”

She pointed out that the move to the new premises will see the end of the in-house X-ray service, with the radiographers joining the Otago Radiology team in the new health centre.  Chiropractor Dave Jongsma, who has been working from the Dungarvon St
premises, will be setting up his own room in the new building.

“Since 2002 we have been dealing with constant growth,” Sally remarked.  “The last few years in our present building have been very cramped and we’ve been challenged to find
creative ways of getting the most from the space available.  Consequently we are all very excited by the prospect of working in a new purpose-built clinic where we will have plenty of space and up-to-date facilities to enhance the care that we offer.”

(from the ODT)

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