Pub to become medical centre

JEROME Muir Wilson and Jaclyn O'Keefe have taken a multimillion-dollar punt on an old Launceston pub.

The husband and wife doctors have commissioned a team of builders to transform the Duke of Wellington bar and bottle shop into the Launceston Medical Hub.

Inside, an old, battered-looking row of toilet cubicles is the only remnant of the building's past, with a reception area, general practice, skin cancer clinic, ambulatory room and pathology laboratory slowly taking shape.

Dr Muir Wilson and Dr O'Keefe are returning home to open the business after three years working locum jobs in emergency departments and general practice clinics across the country.

Dr Muir Wilson said the clinic was on budget and on track to open at the beginning of June.

He said the general practice and ambulatory room would run from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, hopefully taking pressure off Launceston General Hospital's emergency department.

``The ambulatory treatment room is like an accident-injury clinic for things people might normally go to the emergency department for, but wouldn't get admitted for,'' Dr Muir Wilson said.

``So if they need sutures, or they have a simple fracture, or need some fluids for gastro, those sorts of things.

``From 6 to 9 each evening we're also going to run a walk-in clinic, so people can just walk in without an appointment if they haven't been able to see their GP during the day.''

Dr Muir Wilson said he and Dr O'Keefe would work as GPs, while newcomer Tasmania Medical Laboratories would rent and operate out of the pathology space.

He said this meant patients would get blood results back in about an hour, rather than having to wait overnight.

Dr Muir Wilson said that eventually they would like to introduce a specialist centre, radiology services and other allied health providers.

Dr O'Keefe said they had taken a ``huge risk'' in self-funding the $2 million venture with fellow doctor Gaurav Singh from Queensland.

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