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From prayers to patients!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

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A NEW "state of the art" unique medical centre based in a historic old church in Ahoghill was officially opened last week.
A plaque marking the occasion was unveiled by Department of Health Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly.
The health facility is the result of a novel project which saw the conversion of a redundant, but important, historic former church into a GP surgery.
Having searched for new premises for years, the GPs of Maine Medical Practice were delighted to finally unveil the new surgery last Wednesday.
Speaking at what was formerly First Ahoghill Presbyterian Church Dr David Johnston, said the project was a "real good news story."
He explained: "It is good news first and foremost for the patients of the area who, having endured some of the poorer healthcare facilities in the province, are now enjoying some of the best.
“In addition this will allow the practice to develop services and to become a training practice for new GPs.
“Good news too, for the community in that a redundant, but nonetheless significant historic listed building at the centre of an award winning village, has been regenerated and given a new and sustainable use
“And good news from a resource point of view as the new facilities have been provided at significantly less environmental and financial cost than a new build solution."
Dr Johnston said the results have surpassed everyone's expectations, not only resulting in excellent new facilities but also uncovering fascinating local history, including how the building nearly collapsed during the 1859 revival!
He also explained how Professor James Lawson Drummond, the founder of the first medical school in Belfast which became the modern Queen's University medical school, came to be buried in the village of Ahoghill and be commemorated in both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic churches in the village.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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