THREE multi-million pound medical hubs costing tens of millions of pounds have been given the green light.
New community health centres are to be built in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, and the North Lanarkshire towns of Wishaw and Kilsyth at a cost of almost £50million.
The go-ahead comes from the Scottish Government after detailed plans costing £45.7m in total were submitted by health chiefs at NHS Lanarkshire.
Building work is to start in January and the new hubs are expected to open in the summer of 2015.
NHS Lanarkshire's chief executive Ian Ross is delighted at the announcement.
He said the facilities will provide "truly modern, top class health services" for the townspeople of East Kilbride, Wishaw and Kilsyth.
The Wishaw project will be a partnership between health chiefs and North Lanarkshire Council with the new centre also housing a local library as well as combined services for job seekers and the unemployed.
The new £19.6m Hunter Health Centre next to East Kilbride Civic Centre in Andrew Street will offer the biggest choice of medical services including six existing GP practices, a general dental practice, podiatry, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy as well as mental health.
It is to be built next to an existing health centre and will include services which are currently housed in the town's council-run Atholl House and the Red Deer Centre.
NHS Lanarkshire said the large centre will be built in Wishaw at a cost of almost £20m to help accommodate non-medical facilities but that the East Kilbride development will offer the biggest range of medical services.
The Kilsyth Community Health Centre will cost almost £8m and will be twice the size of the existing medical hub at Burngreen Park.
The development will include free parking for patients and staff visiting as well others using a neighbouring swimming pool.
Scotland's Health Secretary Alex Neil said having the right facilities in the right place was "important to people across Scotland".
He added that the developments were "a prime example of how continued investment in our NHS is benefitting patients, by providing them with quality care as close to home as possible."