A YEAR after the tower crane first touched the sky above Orange, medical practitioners have opened for business inside the building it made possible.
Doctors Gabrielle Staniforth, Sue Boyer and Deborah Heron opened their consulting rooms on level two of Bloomfield Medical Centre on Monday afternoon and all three were fully booked.
It was a soft opening for the private hospital facility, which is still being fitted out.
The reception and consultation rooms for the GPs were complete and the car park was opened to traffic for the first time, while final touches were under way in the waiting area and the boardroom.
Zauner Construction director Garry Zauner said giving practitioners the space to meet and talk was key to the facility's success.
"If someone reports in with a sick child, for instance, a GP and a specialist can talk about the problem together," he said.
He said tests and operations could be ordered without having to leave the facility.
The integration attracted Dr Gabrielle Staniforth, who spent five years working across the road at Orange Health Service before working as a GP for the last three years, most recently at Prince Street.
"That's the way I practise my medicine - I integrate a lot of allied heath and specialists and I feel as a GP, I'm a gatekeeper," she said.
Dr Sue Boyer moved to Orange from Dubbo and said the attraction of the facility was being close to family after having spent much of her career in South Australia.
"I'm looking forward to establishing a patient base and having that ongoing relationship," she said.
Dr Deborah Heron said she had been looking forward to starting at the facility for two years - a GP of 22 years, she has worked between Orange and Canberra, including with the defence force.
"It's extraordinary - I've never worked anywhere as comfortable and well-resourced," she said.
Mr Zauner said an extra four GPs were due to start in January.
Elsewhere in the facility, the final fitout is under way at Terry White Chemist, with signage and shelving in place.
The specialists' floor on level five is scheduled for completion by late January, while plans for the surgical and ward floors, including seven theatres, remain with NSW Health for approval.
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