In the early decades of the century Swanson residents had to travel to Avondale or to Henderson to see a doctor. From about 1948, Dr Tom Childs of Henderson was the principal doctor for the district. He visited the village for a couple of afternoons every week, seeing patients in the hall (where the RSA is now).
In 1956, Dr Ritchie Gilmour, a partner in an established Henderson practice, set up a satellite surgery at Swanson and it was agreed that Dr Childs would stop coming to Swanson.
Dr Gilmour rented a garage on the Irving’s property on Swanson Road, operating the surgery daily in the afternoon and patients came from all over the district. This ceased when he took over the Henderson practice as a sole practitioner, forming the Ratanui Medical Centre in 1961. Swanson residents then continued to go to Henderson for their visits to the doctor although Dr Childs did resume his part-time surgery in Swanson, renting rooms in the house at No. 714 Swanson Road (current Medical Centre) until 1980.
Swanson’s first full time doctor was Dr Chris Simpson. He was later joined my Dr Mike Jenkin, initially on part-time basis, building up a obstetric practice. In 1987, Mike took over the Swanson Medical Clinic. He worked with a part-time female doctor until Dr Leiman joined in 1996 as a full-time GP. The building has since been extended several times and in 2004 its name was altered to the Swanson Medical Centre.
Dr Wiki Gillespie joined after Dr Leiman’s death in 2012 and since then the practice team has further expanded. A significant extension to the building was completed in 2016.
Rugged Determination, p80
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