20 YEARS: How this Warwick centre made healthcare accessible
20 YEARS ago, founders of the Warwick Friendly Society Health Centre didn’t know a dream for health services to be located in a “one spot shop” would grow to be a medical centre envied across rural Queensland.
Celebrating the anniversary of the centre’s opening, which includes the Condamine Medical Centre, Sullivan and Nicolaides Pathology and neighbouring Warwick Physioworks, Warwick Friendly Society pharmacist Ahmad Almesfer said the legacy of the centre spoke for itself.
“I couldn’t imagine Warwick not having such a facility, that’s how significant it is,” he said.
“The next nearest hub of significance is Toowoomba, that’s an hour drive away and this provides it all within a few minutes.”
Most notably, the Condamine Medical Centre, created from the amalgamation of three practices, has become an award-winning hub for both training and expert practitioners in the years since.
Prior to 2000, the face of general practice in Warwick looked a lot different, according to Dr David Doolan.
“There was a lot of tiny little general practices around town so this centre allowed us to be together and benefit from that kind of economy of scale,” he said.
“It’s quite unique in rural Australia and people who come here often comment about that. The Warwick community is really lucky to have it and it’s because of vision of the original founders.”
“To have that facility become one of the hubs for COVID-19 testing is just magnificent ,” Mr Almesfer said.
The centre originally also housed Southern Downs Dental, who now resides next door.
A Friendly Society pharmacy was also added in 2008, following extensions and PBS legislation revisions.