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A New Zealand doctor forced to close his surgery over a funding dispute has bounced back into employment - by converting his medical centre into a "high-class bordello", New Zealand Herald reports.

Neil Benson, of the Far North's Coopers Beach, closed his facility last April as a result of a dispute with the local primary health organisation (PHO) over "a GP roster covering after-hours care". He reopened in September, but lack of funding soon did for the renaissance.

Dr Benson lamented: "The medical centre was a wonderful facility that should have always stayed as a medical practice.

"I did everything humanly possible to keep it open, but it wasn't possible because of the lack of support from the PHO, and lack of collegial and community support."

Dr Benson then tried to buy another medical practice, but that fell through. A would-be tenant for his Coopers Beach building noted the place would make a lovely brothel, and the light bulb lit above the good doc's head.

He has now been granted a brothel operator's licence* and says he'll be offering sexual healing next month. He said: "Everything I have ever done is high quality. The standards of my medical practice were high and that will cross over to the brothel environment.

"It will employ beautiful women who are highly paid in their profession and who know what is expected from them in their line of work."

Dr Benson's wife has apparently recognised the good business sense in running a knocking shop, and his four kids have also weighed in with their approval.

Some locals, however, are not giving the thumbs-up to Doc Benson's legalised strumpetry. Janet Brennan of nearby Doubtless Bay slammed the plan as "abominable", adding: "I never thought he would go so low. I think he's doing it to get back at the community for not supporting his clinic."

The Anglican church, too, is none too happy. Local priest Bob Carr said: "I think it is unfortunate that sex should be sold for money because I think sex is very important in human life and the basis of family - by using it in this way you are corrupting it."

Dr Benson replied by acknowleging the brothel was "a contentious issue" but rather marvellously stated that there had been "a lot of support from the men in the community". ®

Bootnotes

*Yes, yes - we want one of those. Not to use, but so we can drop into a pub conversation with: "Yeah, I've got a licence to run a brothel. And a permit to operate nuclear particle accelerators..."

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