Faith drives health dream

GOAL REALISED: Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie, who unveiled the plaque at the opening of Daintree Allied and Specialist Health on Friday, celebrates with directors Alfeen and Ajit Varghese and Thant and Aimee Syn.THE commitment to their goal shown byowners of a Wodonga health clinichas led to another service arising just next door.

Daintree Allied and Specialist Health opened officially on Friday, with Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie unveiling the plaque inthe new building’s entry.

Directors Ajit and Alfeen Varghese and Thant and Aimee Syn startedthe adjacent Daintree Medical Centre in 2013 and expected a second stage might evolve in five to seven years.

But as Dr Ajit Varghese told guests at Friday’s opening, the need in the region for a range of services ata single centre brought their plans forward.

“Themedical centre that we saw next door was aleap of faith; the allied health and specialist health centre that you are in now isa bigger leap,” he said.

“(In the Bible) Hebrews 11-12 says faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

The centre includes cardiology and respiratory services, chiropractic services, counselling and psychotherapy, dentistry and orthodontics as well as diabetic education and management.

In addition will be exercise physiology, a dietitian, myotherapy and Bowen therapy, pathology services, physiotherapy, podiatry and sleep apnoea testing.

Dr Varghese said training and teaching was alsoimportant to himand his wife and Dr and Mrs Syn.

“Thant once said to me that he’s not going to take these skills with him to the grave, he wants to impart them to the next generation and that’s exactly what we strongly believe in,”he said.

Dr Alfeen Varghese said the needs of patients they saw each day highlighted the demand for such a centre in Wodonga.

“There’s no reason why we as regional and rural Australians should have a restricted access to health care professionals,”she said.

“The faith we had in our mission and the potential it had to make a difference in the life of our patients helped us to overcome obstructions and complete this project.

“I dream of the day when facilities such as these are available to every patient of Australia, irrespective of the region they live in.”

The directors thanked groups such asNordcon Land, Connelly Construction and Wodonga Council for their help towards the $1.6 million centre.

Cr Speedie, who also opened the nearby medical centre two years ago, said Daintree was now a major employer with 60 staff members andcongratulated the directors fortheir vision.

“It really is the first time that we’ve seen all of these services in one facility in Wodonga,” she said.

“It will make it easier for our community to actually access health, and access health affordably.”

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