New doctors and seven-day, walk-in medical services a boon for the Sippy Downs community


Sippy Downs residents are responding with their feet  to boosted ‘walk in’ medical services available seven days a week to cater to the area’s population and infrastructure growth, and to help take the burden off hospital emergency departments.

Ochre Medical Centre Sippy Downs is a seven-day medical centre that currently sees over 1100 patients a week. Its online bookings grew to 30 per cent of its patient base this year when the centre launched the service alongside telephone bookings. Walk-in appointments also grew to 25 per cent of its patient base this year, and will continue to grow with the appointment of three new doctors and 2 new nurses to the centre between September and November – boosting its team of medical staff to 17. It will soon also extend its opening hours.

The centre’s plethora of medical and allied health services are spread across two floors. This includes a Fracture Clinic, skin checks, paediatrics, chronic disease management, a specialist rheumatologist, podiatrist, physiotherapists, occupational therapist, three psychologists, and a dietitian, as well as a pathology, radiology and X-ray facilities on the premises.

The Sippy Downs Centre has been receiving numerous patients for various health issues. A senior GP who has been with the practice since it opened in 2014, Dr Alison O’Connor says: “On weekends, we see up to 30 patients a day, even though we are open only five hours. The community has gained awareness about our capacity for patients, and so we’ve even received walk-ins that a hospital would normally receive, including calls from ambulance services.”

dr perkins and dr oconnor

Three of the new GPs at the centre are Dr John O’Connor (above, left), Dr Thomas Perkins (above, right) and Dr Ronda Gurney (below). Family GP Dr John O’Connor recently gained his Fellowship from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners after more than seven years of Australian clinical experience. He has a special interest in chronic disease management, emergency medicine, paediatrics, Indigenous medicine and dermatology.

Ronda Gurney - Sippy Downs

Dr Ronda Gurney (above) is new to the Sunshine Coast this year and is also a medical educator with the Remote Vocational Training Scheme. She has a special interest in remote and rural medicine. Dr Thomas Perkins, who starts at the practice in November, is a Queensland local who has previously worked at Nambour and Caloundra Emergency Department, and has had 5 years of service with the Royal Australian Air Force as a Medical Officer in Queensland, the Northern Territory and overseas.

With Buderim and Sippy Downs experiencing population growth, all of the new doctors are energised about being a part of the community at this time. They anticipate their new patients will include young adults attending the University of the Sunshine Coast – currently, 25 patients a day are from the university – young families (including those new to the area) and retirees.

Ochre Health Medical Centre Sippy Downs, 9 Ochre Way, Sippy Downs. To book an appointment, call (03) 5429 1362, or visit to book online.


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