Counties Manukau GPs And Pharmacies Step In To Help Support Winter Surge Over Mānawatia A Matariki


Over 1,400 people accessed free GP care and hundreds more
took advantage of free pain relief for children at
pharmacies across Counties Manukau last weekend, prompting
more health providers to step in and help this Matariki
weekend.

Around 30 general practices and 100
pharmacies in the Counties Manukau region are participating
in the initiatives aimed at taking some of the pressure off
Middlemore Hospital’s emergency department, which has seen
a record number of presentations for winter
illnesses.

Middlemore had over 100 fewer presentations
to its emergency department last weekend compared to the
previous weekend.

Counties Manukau Chief Executive Dr
Pete Watson said that the impact of the initiatives will
continue to be monitored over the coming long
weekend.

“We have heard some good success stories
from GPs and pharmacists so far,” he said.

“Some
GPs have reported they managed to see patients who would not
have come in if there was a cost. This demonstrates the need
out there at the moment and also means that some of these
people are now able to get care before their condition
worsens and they end up in hospital.”

Pharmacies
were also busy at the weekend with parents and caregivers
taking advantage of the free pain relief (paracetamol and
ibruprofen) for children 13 and under. Pharmacists are also
able to provide a free consultation, many by phone, as well
as face-to-face, to help people understand if they do need a
higher level of care.

“This has been one of our
busiest winters for many years, so having more options for
people who need care at the weekend is really important for
helping to manage the impact on our hospitals. We know that
GPs, nurses and pharmacists are incredibly busy at the
moment, and really appreciate all the extra support they are
providing our communities,” Dr Watson added.

People
are also being encouraged to call Healthline on 0800 611 116
for information or advice on how to manage cold or flu
symptoms. Healthline is free, available 24 hours a day, 7
days a week, and has interpreters available. Anyone wanting
health advice can contact Healthline and get the support
they need and information about what to do, including
self-care advice.

Dr Watson added that preventation
was also a key point for people to think about heading into
the long weekend.

“Keep up the great work with mask
wearing and stay home if you’re unwell. These are the most
important things we can do to stop the virus from spreading.
I would also encourage people to get out this weekend and
get a flu vaccination if they can.”

Flu and COVID-19
vaccinations are available at all of Auckland’s community
vaccinations centres and through most GPs and participating
pharmacies.

There are also a number of pop-up events
taking place across Tāmaki Makaurau this weekend where
vaccinations will be on offer, both COVID and flu for those
eligible. These include:

  • Pasefika Market Vax
    Event, Fri 24 Jun, 8am-4:30pm, Browns Road, Community
    Centre
  • Cook Island Vax Event, Sat 25 Jun,
    8am-4:30pm, LDS Church, 33 Robertson Road,
    Māngere
  • Velodrome Vaccination Event, Sat 25 Jun,
    9am-3:30pm, Manukau
  • Māngere Town Centre Car Park
    (Orly Road), Sat 25 Jun, 9am-4pm, Orly Road,
    Māngere
  • Samoa Vax Event, Sat 25 Jun, 9am-3pm, Stake
    Centre, 71 Lincoln Park Road, Massey

We’re
also proud to support Matariki ki te Ao being held on Sat 26
June, 6am-9pm, David Lange Park, Bader Drive,
Mangere.

These general
practices
and pharmacies
are open and providing additional free care and medications
this
weekend.

© Scoop Media

 



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