For latest and most up to date news relating to COVID19 please click here
At the moment – as we have mentioned previously – we are asking anyone who has cold and flu symptoms to NOT enter the medical centre. Instead, we request that they wait in their car and contact reception on 09 235 9102 for advice on what to do.
Alternatively, they can telephone 027 381 6926. (Please note, this mobile number is *only* for people who need to be assessed for cold & flu symptoms, or otherwise require a Covid-19 swab. Please don’t ring this mobile number for general enquiries.)
As many of you may know or have seen, we are evaluating those patients and conducting our Covid-19 testing outside and to the rear of the Waiuku Health Plus building, where the staff on duty wear full PPE.
The reason for this is that we are trying to safeguard the health of everyone inside the building, including our staff and other patients.
If – in the future – we happen to have a patient inside the building who then tests positive for Covid-19, we would have to shut the building for 48 hours in order to do a deep clean. Additionally, some of our staff and patients who potentially came into contact with that person would need to go into isolation for 14 days just in case. This exact scenario has happened at a medical centre in Auckland, and we are attempting to prevent it from happening here.
Every day we are working to improve our efficiency and teamwork. Some people seen in the car queue have complex conditions or more severe symptoms and require more careful assessment which can take time. Therefore, there can be unexpected longer waits.
It’s perfectly natural that many people are feeling stressed and uncertain at the moment. However, despite this, we do hope that our staff – both inside and outside the building – are treated with Respect.
As many of you may know, but some of you may not, the government has announced this evening that there are now four cases of Covid-19 in one household in South Auckland. These are people who had not arrived from overseas, and their source of infection is unknown.
Therefore, as at 12 noon tomorrow (Wednesday 12 August), Auckland is at Level 3 lock down restrictions until at least midnight on Friday. As we are part of the supercity, that includes us.
We will update you as soon as possible tomorrow as to what this means for appointments over the next few days. But in the meantime, please DO NOT come to the medical centre for non-essential visits.
You can help keep yourself and others safe by doing the basics well, especially if you have to be out in the community, such as at the supermarket:
Hand hygiene – washing your hands frequently
Wearing a face mask
Maintaining social distancing
If you must go anywhere, use the COVID-19 tracking app (details here: https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz/ )
Stay at home if you are unwell
If you have cold or flu symptoms, DO NOT enter the medical centre. You can contact reception on 09 235 9102 and they will advise you about assessment and testing options.
We know this is stressful and very disruptive for all of us.
However, remember you are part of New Zealand’s team of 5 million. We have done this before and we can do this again!
Way to go, Waiuku and the rest of New Zealand’s team of 5 million! Welcome to Level 1! 😀 I’m sure many of you are feeling the same sense of relief as we are, as the physical distancing barriers are coming down. However, remember we still have to remain vigilant and keep track of where we have been. 🧡
💙 Firstly, we would like to thank our wonderful staff who have gone above and beyond in dealing with the ongoing changes over the past couple of months. We appreciate you all and are thankful to have you all in our team.
💙 Secondly, thank you also to our colleagues at Unichem Waiuku Pharmacy and Unichem Waiuku Medical Pharmacy for all their hard work as well. They have done so well with the extra demands of e-prescriptions and monthly dispensing.
💙 And, of course, we need to thank you all, for your patience and understanding as we came to grips with all the different processes we needed to put into place.
It has been a learning time for us all. As a business we discovered that our phone system was not up to scratch and that is being revamped. ☎️ We also discovered that phone and video consultations can work under many circumstances, and we will be encouraging the ongoing use of these formats for many patient needs.
I think all of us have discovered just how effective careful and repetitive hand washing can be at staving off bugs. We really recommend that this becomes a long term habit, so we can try to hold off the winter cold and flu that generally plague us at this time of year. 🤧😷🤒
We will be updating you about practice hours, how to use the triage system, flu vaccinations and all that sort of thing. So keep checking back!
Finally, one major point: although we are mostly going back to normal business, we are going to continue to ask that those who have cold or flu symptoms NOT enter the medical centre. Please telephone reception on 09 235 9102 and ask to speak with the triage nurse. These patients are still being seen in a separate isolation area.
As a precaution we are requesting that patients who have recently returned from overseas and have cold or flu symptoms Please Do Not Enter the Medical Centre.
Alternatively you can telephone for further advice on the dedicated Healthline Coronavirus number on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for overseas SIMs).
- Additionally, there are simple things you can do to reduce the risk of infection spreading:
- Wash and thoroughly dry your hands frequently
- Cover your mouth when you are coughing – it is suggested that you cough into your elbow rather than coughing into your hand.
- Avoid touching your face as viruses enter your body through the mouth, nose and eyes
- If you are unwell and coughing, a facemask will help reduce the risk of you infecting others
- If you are unwell, remain at home and telephone for advice
Further information is available at the Ministry of Health website here.
We have received the following statement from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, updating us on the availability of the MMR vaccine and what groups are currently a priority for immunisation with the limited supply currently available.
We recognise that this is a stressful time for patients and parents, and have very much appreciated your patience and respect for practice staff over this time.
The following media release was issued jointly by the three Auckland metropolitan DHBs (Waitematā, Counties Manukau and Auckland) on Friday, 20 September 2019.
The measles outbreak has led to unprecedented demand for the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
While it is good news that so many people living in Auckland have been vaccinated in recent weeks, we now need to carefully manage the current supply of MMR across the region. This includes our share of the 52,000 doses that recently arrived in New Zealand.
For this reason the three District Health Boards (Waitematā, Auckland and Counties Manukau) are working with Auckland’s Primary Health Organisations to ensure the vaccine we have gets to where it is most needed.
We have informed Auckland general practices that most of our current vaccine must be used to give babies and children their scheduled 12 month and four year MMR vaccinations.
Children are most seriously affected by measles and our first priority is to protect them.
General Practitioners (GPs) can also use their clinical judgement to provide vaccine to people aged 5-29 who are more vulnerable in this outbreak. In the current outbreak, measles is spreading among young Pacific and Māori people and high numbers of these groups have needed hospital care.
These groups are a priority for GPs to consider vaccinating based on their clinical judgement. GPs can also use their clinical judgement to vaccinate babies aged six months to 12 months.
People aged 30-50 are currently not a priority for vaccination. However, clinical judgement may be needed on a case-by-case basis. Once we have more vaccine in stock we will be able to provide vaccinations for those 30-50 years who want to be vaccinated.
We know that having to wait for an MMR vaccination may cause concern. However we want to reassure people that the Ministry of Health and PHARMAC have advised us that an additional 100,000 doses of vaccine have been secured for New Zealand. We expect this vaccine to arrive in the next few months.
It is very difficult for any doctor or nurse to ask a patient to wait for a vaccination, but it is essential we work together to manage our supplies very carefully – so that we have MMR available for babies and young children.
We thank the public for their patience and ask them to understand that their general practice is doing all that they can to protect the most vulnerable in our community.
Temporary priorities for MMR vaccine in Auckland
General practices have been asked to keep most of their vaccine for children aged under five years at the moment.
GPs may also vaccinate some people aged under 30 who have not had any MMR vaccinations, based on their clinical judgement.
In this outbreak Pacific and Māori people are more seriously affected by measles than other groups and are a priority for vaccination.
Measles cases in Auckland as at 2 pm, 23 September 2019:
As of today, the total number of confirmed measles cases in Auckland is 1180. Of this total, 870 of the cases are in the Counties Manukau Health area, with Waitematā and Auckland DHBs having 192 and 181 cases respectively.
Media release – 11 September 2019
Following advice from an immunisation Expert Advisory Group and feedback from general practices, the Ministry of Health is asking general practices and PHOs to target measles vaccinations to the most vulnerable.
“There’s been a huge public response to the current measles situation, and this has meant an unprecedented demand for vaccinations from the wider population,” says Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.
“General practices have responded extremely well to this demand but have reported that in some places, vaccines aren’t reaching those most in need of protection, including children aged 15 months (12 months in Auckland).
“There have been 160,000 vaccines given so far in 2019, this compares to 90,000 vaccines given during the same period in 2018.
“Children aged two years and under are more likely to be hospitalised because of measles so it’s imperative they’re vaccinated,” says Dr Bloomfield. “First and foremost we need to protect our children.”
The advice comes off the back of an immunisation Expert Advisory Group recommendation to focus on ensuring the groups most affected by the current measles outbreak can be vaccinated to protect them and the wider community and help prevent further spread of measles.
This means the first priority for vaccinations should be on:
• ensuring all children across NZ receive their vaccines on time at 15 months (12 months of age in Auckland) and 4 years to maintain the national childhood immunisation schedule.
• vaccinating groups who are most affected by the outbreak in the Auckland area, namely children under 4 years of age, those aged 15-29 years and Pacific peoples within these groups.
• proactively contacting children aged up to 14 years who have not had a single dose of vaccine to get vaccinated.
The priority groups for vaccination are being reviewed regularly based first on priority children then on who it is most important to target in local cases.
A shipment of 52,000 vaccines is due in New Zealand this weekend and will be distributed where needed from next week.
The Ministry of Health has provided advice for parents in the Measles section. Measles Outbreak Information Sheet
With cold and flu season upon us it is worth remembering that unfortunately no amount of antibiotics will get rid of your cold or flu.
Taking unnecessary antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance which is now a big problem world-wide. Hospital doctors are facing patients with “super bugs” which are very difficult to treat.
There is some very good information on the Ministry of Health’s website about how antibiotics work and how antibiotic resistance develops: Please see here: https://www.health.govt.nz/…/medicati…/antibiotic-resistance
It’s amazing how inter-related health conditions can be, and how having one can make another worse.
Last week we talked about High Blood Pressure and how it increases the risk of both heart attacks and strokes. But did you know that having Diabetes can also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke?
Diabetes is an illness where you have too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. This can either happen quite suddenly in the case of Type 1 Diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in children or adolescents, or Type 2 Diabetes which occurs gradually over time and is often associated with being overweight.
Some of the symptoms for Diabetes include:
* Frequent urination (peeing)
* Excessive thirst and hunger
* Blurred vision
* Slow-healing wounds
If you think you may have diabetes please make sure to make an appointment to see your GP. Ph 09 2359102