After-hours medical care gets boost

From 1 December people living in Napier, Hastings and Havelock North will have one point of contact for after-hours medical care, as a new streamlined system is put in place.

The new urgent after-hours system will see GP care available in both Napier and Hastings from City Medical in Napier and Hastings Health Centre until 9pm.

After-hours, people who need medical care should call their general practice clinic and their call will be diverted to a health professional who can assess their medical concerns. If required the nurse has the ability to send a paramedic to people’s homes.

A highly qualified nurse will be available 24/7 at City Medical, free to anyone who has an urgent medical issue they need to be checked.

The new home-care paramedic service will cost patients $65. Although staffed by St John this is a Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and Health Hawke’s Bay subsidised service working in partnership with St John Ambulance Service.

Health Hawke’s Bay and Hawke’s Bay District Health Board medical advisors have championed this project, as a better way for GPs to work so they are able to manage their day time jobs without an on-call night roster that was unsustainable.

Napier GP David Rodgers said all GPs want to provide a top-notch service to patients during the day time when most people need them – “that’s difficult to maintain if you have been up most of the night”.

“This new service prioritises patient safety with more choice after-hours; it’s streamlined to prevent confusion and there is the back-up paramedic service if it’s needed, to support after- hours care and to help keep people from using the Emergency Department when they can be treated elsewhere,” Dr Rogers said.

St John National Patient Pathways Manager Kris Gagliardi said he was pleased to welcome the partnership with Health Hawke’s Bay and the district health board to provide after-hours care to the Hawke’s Bay community.

“Our paramedics have a passion for primary healthcare and are looking forward to working with the teams to provide this service,” he said.

More information is available from www.ourhealthhb.nz

As always if it’s an emergency, like chest pain, people should call 111.


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