MEDICAL MOVE: Angelique Greling (Practice Manager) at the Alma Street Medical Centre which has reopened in its old building which was gutted by fire last year (pictured below).
MEDICAL MOVE: Angelique Greling (Practice Manager) at the Alma Street Medical Centre which has reopened in its old building which was gutted by fire last year (pictured below). Chris Ison ROK030317cmedical1

Rockhampton medical business rises from the ashes

PICKING her way through the charred remains of the Alma Street Medical Centre last July, Shantal Wallace knew it was going to take a lot of work to rebuild.

Fast forward nine months to now, with the smell of fresh paint in the air, Business and Safety advisor Mrs Wallace sits proudly in their new meeting room explaining the long road back for the busy medical practice.

 

Alma St Medical Centre has been destroyed by a fire.
Alma St Medical Centre has been destroyed by a fire. Seven Local News

"The police who were doing a general patrol in the early hours of the morning noticed flames and smoke coming out of the top of the building and the fire brigade luckily are just a couple of streets down got onto it quite quickly," Mrs Wallace said.

"Our understanding is that it was an electrical fault, potentially in the roof, but it was never confirmed.

READ: Alma St Medical Centre confirms second venue after fire.

"Everything was black, the ceiling had caved in, you really didn't recognise the place and it was a significant impact on the business."

Despite the bad luck with the fire, the staff of the medical centre were able to work out of the Mater hospital outpatients department for a week and a half while they fitted out a commercial premises across the road which coincidentally had become vacant the day of the fire.

Mrs Wallace said although the temporary premises was a third of the size and only had one theatre room for their team of doctors, they made do while the reconstruction efforts took place.

She said the staff were excited but exhausted by the move back into their old premises this week and extremely grateful for the support from the community.

The silver lining for the Alma Street Medical Centre was the opportunity to update the 70-year-old building with the features of a busy modern medical practice.

"We've got this meeting room now, our doctors all have windows for their offices, we've been able to better accommodate for our disabled and ambulant patients by making sure the toilets are up to standard and have the hand rails, things we've never had before," Mrs Wallace said.

The medical centre now has an automatic door and more space improving waiting areas and walkways for greater ease of access for the 300 to 500 patients who visit the facility daily.


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