As a result of yesterday’s announcement by the government that the Covid-19 Alert level has been raised to Level 3, and will move to Level 4 by midnight Wednesday 25 March, Ngati Porou Hauora (NPH) has made the following changes to the health services we provide to Ngati Porou whanau in the Tairawhiti region.
In alignment with this announcement, these changes are being made to help prevent the spread of the Corona Virus to our Ngati Porou communities.
• We are trying to prevent contact between patients
• Minimizing face to face consultations
• Increasing video and audio consultations
• Encouraging whanau to self-isolate
To enable us to continue to provide Health services to our Ngati Porou communities on the coast and in Gisborne, it is important during this time of national lockdown that everyone unites in the fight against Covid-19, tiaki a tatau pakeke, Horoi o ringaringa, noho ki te Kaenga!
• If you are not feeling well and need to see a doctor or nurse, please continue to contact NPH. However please contact us by phone to make an appointment. Do not visit the clinic.
• We are here to treat people who are unwell. Winter is approaching; people will still get sick; we don’t want anyone to wait till they are really sick. We want them to call us early before their health gets worse.
• If you need a repeat of your prescription, or need help with administrative matters like ACC referrals, contact us by phone. Please do not visit the clinic.
• If you think you have Covid-19 symptoms, please call the Healthline number - 0800 358 5453. If you can’t get through to the Healthline, call your local NPH health clinic.
• Your first port of call will be the receptionist. The receptionist will ask you some questions to help decide whether you need to contact the Healthline, need help with administration matters or you need to be referred to the nurse.
• The nurse will determine whether you need to have a doctor’s appointment and will make an appointment with the GP which will be conducted over the phone, face to face or video call.
• Consultations are free to all enrolled patients – effective immediately.
• There is a single point of entry to the hospital which is the main entrance. All other entrances will be closed.
• The main door will be locked from 5pm everyday throughout the night, this is to maintain safety for staff, patients and whanau in the community.
• The duty nurse will open the door for those who need to come into the hospital.
• The Te Puia hospital ward will be on lock down. However, we are considering the issue of visiting, and we will make a decision as soon as possible.
If you or a member of your whanau has:
• a fever, sore throat, shortness of breath or coughing
• returned from overseas in the last 14 days
• or have been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of Coronavirus
Call the Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice. The call center is open 24 hours a day. If you can’t get through to them, call Te Puia Hospital on (06) 864 6803.
• If you do fit the criteria for Covid-19 testing, you will be directed by Healthline or your GP, to the nearest swabbing centre. There is one at Te Puia Hospital and one in Gisborne.
• The swabbing centre at Te Puia Hospital is a drive through. Do not get out of your car, the nurse will conduct the swabbing through your car window.
• These are not walk-in centres. You will need to meet the criteria for testing and be referred by the national Covid-19 Healthline or by your GP. If you turn up without an appointment you will be turned away.
• If you or your whanau are unable to get to a swabbing centre, your GP will make alternative arrangements for testing. If you require assistance with transport for Covid-19 testing, please contact the Hauora.
• Please note we are following the guidelines by the Ministry of Health, which at this point has set criteria for testing. If one whanau member meets that criteria, it doesn’t mean that your whole whanau will be tested. NPH is following the same guidelines that all health providers around the country are following.
• There are limited resources available at this time, so NPH has to prioritise who they test. We cannot swab everybody.
• We will be driven by public health direction and regulations- these could also change as things develop.
• Please be patient as this is a process that everyone around Aotearoa must follow.
The free Flu vaccination programme will continue to be rolled out to our Ngati Porou whanau who are most at risk. This includes: pakeke over the age of 65 years, pregnant women, people with a history of respiratory ill-ness, people with chronic health conditions and those who are immuno-compromised. While the flu vaccination won’t protect you from Covid 19, it will help to ‘flatten the curve’ of demand on our hospitals this winter.
• NPH teams are working with whanau who are needing vaccinations to be administered in their homes.
• Whanau who can travel to a Hauora clinic, will have the flu jab administered in the Clinic Car park. Verbal consent will be required prior to the vaccination being administered.
• If you are not enrolled with Ngati Porou Hauora, but fit the criteria for a free flu vaccination, please contact your local Hauora clinic.
• For people who don’t meet the free flu vaccination criteria, further vaccinations are being planned to be rolled out on April 13.
For all other Covid-19 related information and the latest news go to www.covid19.govt.nz
For contact details of all Hauora clinics go to www.nph.org.nz