Don’t put off contacting your general practice
5 May 2020
Dr Stephen Graham, WellSouth Medical Director, says “it is really important as we head into winter that people don’t put off contacting their general practice. Now is the perfect time to check in with your practice if you haven’t for a while, especially if you have waited while we were in Level 4”.
Both Wanaka general practices are backing Dr Graham’s call. They want locals and visitors to know that if they are concerned by any aspect of their health they should call Wanaka Medical on 03 443 0710 or Aspiring Medical on 03 443 0725.
Because of COVID-19 things are a bit different, so the consultation may be by phone or video. If, however, the doctor feels a person needs a consultation in person, they will organise this.
Both Aspiring Medical’s and Wanaka Medical’s GPs say telephone consultations are working well, and that patients are especially enjoying the convenience of the phone over travelling in to the medical centre. Both practices intend to keep offering phone and video consultations as New Zealand heads into Level 2 and beyond.
Both practices are well-supplied with flu vaccine and are now offering this to anyone over three years old. People wanting a flu jab should call ahead and book a time.
An important message for the Wanaka community is that anyone concerned about bothering their practice should not worry about this: their practice wants to hear from them. Similarly anyone worried about whether the practices are safe can be reassured that both have places to see patients that are completely separate from anyone who’s had COVID-19 or symptoms, and anyone worried about paying should mention this when they call and the practice will talk them through the options to make this easier.
It is also important at this time to maintain COVID-19 testing in the community to detect as early as possible any new cases. Dr Graham says “we want to encourage patients with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested - and we want to help that happen as safely as possible”.
There is no cost for anyone – including visitors and people not registered at a general practice – contacting a general practice with concerns about COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat, and no cost to being tested. Enrolled patients and visitors alike can also contact Wellsouth’s COVID-19 call centre by dialling 0800 VIRUS19 (0800 847 8719) to enquire about COVID-19 testing.
Michael James, General Manager, Wanaka Medical Centre 021 226 8012
Caroline Stark, General Manager, Aspiring Medical Centre 027 298 5288
Moira Finn, Communications Advisor, WellSouth, 021 854 734