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Coasters can still access their general practice team for health care appointments

Wednesday 8 April 2020Health news3 minutes to read

All West Coast general practices remain open for business during the current nationwide COVID-19 Alert Level 4. Although the majority of appointments are now being done virtually by phone, email, text or video it is important that people who need to come in for a face-to-face consultation do so.

Please don’t put off giving your general practice team a call if you require medical treatment. You may be offered a virtual consultation, but if it’s needed you will be given a face-to-face appointment.

It’s really important that anyone who is feeling unwell with any condition, call their general practice clinic to discuss their situation and symptoms during this lockdown period. This will ensure that you continue to access appropriate treatment and medication to help you stay well, even in isolation.

More than ever we need to look after our health, so it’s important we hear from our patients who may be feeling unwell, especially our older and more vulnerable community members.

Be sure to contact your general practice for regular appointments, updates on vaccinations and prescription renewals.

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 – high temperature (at least 38°C), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, sneezing and runny nose, temporary loss of smell.  These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are like other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.
  • If you are unwell, please do not go directly to a pharmacy, general practice or emergency department – ring your general practice team for advice.

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
  • Poutini Waiora (Māori Health and Social Service) – 0800 333 170
  • 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).

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, it’s important to seek immediate help in an emergency – don’t delay.  If you are injured or experiencing severe symptoms it’s critical that you still call 111.



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Page last updated: 8 April 2020

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