COVID19 – How it is affecting services at Hauora Health Centre
There is so much information coming to us on a daily basis and like you, we are all uncertain about how our world is changing. We are monitoring the NZ and world’s response closely and every decision we make has your best needs in mind. We are fortunate to have a Government who have reacted swiftly to the concerns of the medical field and closed down day-to-day function to stop further spread of COVID-19. There is excellent up=to-date advice and information from the Ministry of Health below.
Hauora Health Centre as of 29th March 2020:
We are doing everything we can to help you and our staff stay safe and to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19. We are also mindful of needing to help you to meet the level 4 lockdown conditions which means that we are trying to see as many patients as we can virtually.
This means that we will be doing consultations by phone call or video link where possible. Some things we will still need to see you for at the health centre.
What things can I be seen for in a virtual consult?
Things like WINZ and off work certificates, abnormal blood results, plans for newly diagnosed conditions e.g. arthritis, follow-up consults, medication reviews and follow-up mental health consultations. These are charged at the same rate as a face-to-face consultation. You will receive an email or text following the consultation as an invoice.
What things do I need to have a face-to-face consult for?
These are things like any infections which may need antibiotics if you have any shortness of breath, chest pains or palpitations but many things can be handled over the phone.
We are currently not doing screening visits for cervical smears. These are not considered essential and can wait until the crisis is over.
Flu Vaccines and Childhood Immunisations
We currently have flu vaccines in stock, but supply is limited and unreliable. We are only able to do eligible vaccines until 13th April. These are people aged over 65 years and those with certain medical conditions. Flu clinics are able to be booked online where you see them. We will only schedule clinics when we are sure we have vaccines. If you come in for an appointment and are eligible for a funded flu vaccine, you will be offered one.
We are still recalling all children for their normal immunisations. We are also able to do MMR vaccinations again so if you think you need one, please get in touch.
We are only able to prescribe one month of prescriptions at a time (three months for the contraceptive pill) during the lockdown and possibly after. This is a directive from the Ministry of Health and whilst there is no national stock shortage of your medicines, this is a step to ensure New Zealand has steady stock levels.
Testing for COVID-19
This is primarily being done at the Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) at the old Suburban Club on Tahunanui Drive State Highway 6. They are open 9-6pm 7 days. If you meet the testing criteria and we have assessed you over the phone, you will be sent there. If you come to the health centre, we will swab you. You will not be charged for any consult relating to COVID-19.
Finally, please remember that we (including our local pharmacies), on the frontline are doing everything we can to ensure your health remains our priority. We are working in very challenging circumstances. With that comes anxiety and uncertainty about the virus and our new way of working. Please be patient with us. Things may seem slower than normal but we will all get there.
Be kind. Stay safe. Kia Kaha Aotearoa