The current facilities are also too small to take sixth-year medical students on placements, or GPEP registrars, something increased space will allow for.
Plans for the new centre are for a substantially larger building, to be shared between the medical centre and a St John station.
The trust needs about $3.29 million for the build, and the timeline aims to have the centre open by January 2020.
Funding is to be split, with 61 per cent coming from a large national charitable trust, 18 per cent from smaller localised charitable trusts, and other funding made up of a bid for a $50,000 input from Midland Health Network Charitable Trust, a local electricity charitable trust, local fundraising activities and debt of $244,000.
Community fundraising won’t kick in until 70 per cent of the funds have been secured.
Concept discussions for the centre started in 2013, but the trust wasn’t fully registered until last year.
Mr McFarlane says the trust is needed because the health centre on its own wouldn’t be able to afford anything near the size needed privately, especially given funding complications of having a largely older population.
If the group doesn’t raise the money required in time, the medical centre will remain in its current premises.
Land for the centre is to be leased from the local council at a peppercorn rate, where only a nominal sum is paid in rent. A 20-year lease has been agreed, initially.
There hasn’t been any opposition to the plan; the only concern, Mr McFarlane says, is from patients wanting to know whether they will have to pay more. They won’t, he says.