Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Long awaited new Meigh GP surgery officially opens

The saying “the best things come to those who wait” certainly rang true in Meigh Village last week when the brand new Meigh Surgery opened its doors for the first time on Thursday morning!

The completion of the state-of-the-art surgery marks the end of a protracted campaign for a fit-for-purpose medical premises in the village, which has been ongoing for more than a decade.

Indeed, Meigh residents had begun to lose faith that the proposed new GP surgery would ever come to fruition as, despite the project getting the green light back in 2012, it was beset with delays and the site lay half finished for more than two years until contractors resumed work on construction last May.

“It was a long time coming and there were certainly times I’m sure that the people of Meigh thought it was never going to happen,” said practice partner Dr Giby Vettiankal, who has really delivered on promises with this beautiful new modern surgery in the heart of Meigh village.

“The patients of Meigh Surgery deserve it.  Our wonderful team of staff also undoubtedly deserve it after years of working in such cramped conditions. The staff are now overjoyed to work in this lovely new building,” added the delighted GP.

The turnout for Thursday’s official opening was confirmation of the loyalty the people of Meigh have shown to Dr Giby and who in turn have been more than rewarded for their patience with the amazing new premises.

Dr Giby G Vettiankal (seated 2nd from right) with his father Dr George, wife Fiona, mother Glory and (rear) his children Riya, Casey and Zaria, pictured at the opening of the new Meigh Surgery.

Extending his thanks to all involved in the scheme, Dr Giby said,

“Everyone involved in this project deserves a mention –  from the architect Rodney Hall (HallBlackDouglas) for the great design, to the builders Eugene Duffy contractors, who took the project from the drawing board and made it a reality! The list of people that have been so supportive is endless and I would like to thank them all and wish the best of luck to the local people and the staff of this practice who I hope will enjoy it for many years to come.”

Thursday’s official opening was a real family affair for Dr Giby, who was joined by his wife Fiona and his children, as well as his parents, with his father Dr George Vettiankal delighted to officially open the new building.

Dr George cuts the tape in the presence of his son Dr Giby to officially open the new Meigh Surgery.

Welcoming the progress made in opening the new GP surgery, Sinn Féin MLA for the area, Megan Fearon, who has been a key player in the campaign for a new facility, acknowledged that its completion “has been a long time coming,” adding that the project was “the culmination of many years of hard work and engagement that will transform local healthcare provision for thousands in the Slieve Gullion area.”

“The health facilities in this constituency must be fit for purpose, and Sinn Féin will continue to deliver investment in our critical public services, while ensuring that our local community has unfettered access to the first-class healthcare they deserve,” said Ms Fearon.

Echoing those sentiments, party colleague and Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady said the opening of the modern, accessible and high-quality facility marked “a turning point for local GP services.”

Dr Giby pictured with his father and staff Chris Hardy Tina Vize (seated) and (rear) Jane Swail, Angela Gribben, Margaret Vize, Stephanie Carson and Ann Marie Parr.