COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at West Coast DHB Grey Base Hospital and health centres can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 Information page

All Coast GP Practices have changed the way they are operating

Friday 27 March 2020Facilities News3 minutes to read

West Coast PHO and West Coast DHB shared media release

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

All West Coast general practices have restricted access to clinics in response to the current COVID-19 situation. People are still able to access health care but the majority of appointments are now being done virtually by phone, email, text or video.

Face-to-face appointments are no longer being accepted unless the patient has first had a remote consultation. These changes have been put in place to help reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by our patients and front-line health staff in busy wait rooms.

For anyone needing repeat prescriptions, these will continue to be provided by our general practice teams. We do ask that people don’t make appointments for repeat prescriptions unless they are due for renewal as there is no need to stockpile medications.

Influenza vaccination clinics are now available for front-line healthcare workers and eligible Coasters who are at greatest risk of serious illness from influenza. We are currently experiencing some delays in supply deliveries due to the high demand across New Zealand, so please phone ahead to book your appointment or to find out when our dedicated clinics are being held.

Flu vaccinations are fully-funded (free), for people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people with certain chronic conditions and young children with a history of severe respiratory illness. Our flu vaccination programme will be available to the wider community on or shortly after Monday, 13 April 2020.

Influenza vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, however it will help prevent a serious illness which causes hundreds of deaths each winter in New Zealand.

Remember, we all play an important role in keeping ourselves, our family/whānau and friends safe. Some simple things that we can all do include:

  • Not going into any public places if you are feeling unwell and minimise close contact even in your home – ring ahead if you need a service.
  • Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat – and have undertaken any overseas travel in the past 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.
  • Please do not go directly to a pharmacy, GP clinic, urgent care centre or emergency department.

For anyone who is feeling stressed and anxious or who needs some advice, then there are places you can CALL for more support, listed below:

  • Phone or text 1737 to be put through to a trained counsellor any time of the day or night. This is a free service for everyone.
  • Your General Practice or rural clinic
  • Crisis Response (24/7) – 0800 757 678
  • Youthline – 0800 376 633
  • Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
  • Your employer, through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

You may also like to check out the online therapy tool ‘Just a Thought’ available at www.justathought.co.nz

If you need medical advice, call your general practice team 24/7 FIRST rather than visiting in person. After hours, follow the instructions to be put through to a nurse for free health advice. Remember, in an emergency, always call 111.

ENDS

Media contacts

Helen Reriti
Executive Officer
West Coast Primary Health Organisation
P: 027 288 0162

Imogen Squires
Senior Communications Advisor
West Coast District Health Board
P: 027 836 1528

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Page last updated: 27 March 2020

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