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West Coasters asked to be patient and kind when accessing their general practice for health care

Friday 8 April 2022Health news2 minutes to read

Please attribute to Dr Graham Roper, Incident Controller for West Coast DHB’s COVID-19 Response Emergency Operations Centre

West Coasters are being asked to be patient and kind when accessing their general practice teams for health care while the West Coast Health System is responding to the current COVID-19 situation.

You are still able to access health care, but you may need to wait as across the Coast our general practice teams are experiencing an increase in demand coupled with staff sickness.

It’s a really busy time especially with the recent increase in people who are isolating at home needing additional support whether that’s from their GP or pharmacy team. Our staff are doing their very best to provide the necessary care to everyone who needs it as quickly as possible.

We know that these are stressful times for us all, but we are all in this together. Our health staff are here to help, so please be kind, considerate, and respectful when presenting to any of our services.

Remember, if you are feeling unwell with any condition, call your general practice team to discuss your situation and symptoms. This will ensure that you get to access appropriate treatment and medication to help you stay well, even if you are at home isolating.

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 – Find a GP, medical practice, clinic or health centre | West Coast DHB (
  • 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 call 111.



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Page last updated: 8 April 2022

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