The Kaipara Medical Centre has decided to put the building of an onsite dispensary on hold until after winter.
It was hoped building to reconfigure the space and accommodate the dispensary would begin in July, but the centre’s been under pressure with two of its doctors unexpectedly taking sick leave in the middle of May.
Chairman Dianne Kidd says, “while we know the community is excited about being able to collect their prescriptions at the same time as their doctor’s visit we felt it was best to put the building work off until our team was back to full strength and we’re over the busy winter period.”
The Medical Centre has also decided to stop accepting any new enrolments in an effort to prioritise its enrolled patients and emergency care.
Business Manager Richard Reid says, “most of our new enrolments come from people who are new to the area and while we’d like to welcome them to our community, we just don’t have the capacity right now.” He says the Medical Centre reception staff are able to help those new residents find alternative nearby GP practices to enrol with.
Dianne Kidd says the Medical Centre team has been heartened by the understanding of its patients as resources were juggled to best manage the staffing situation, and also of the many get-well messages received for the doctors on sick leave.
“We’re very lucky in South Kaipara to have a GP clinic that is part-owned by the community it serves and we do our very best to ensure a high standard of care,” Dianne Kidd says.
She says most patients were very understanding if they had their non-urgent appointments rescheduled and with some of the extended hours clinics being reduced.
She acknowledges that sometimes there can be frustrations over not being able to see a preferred GP, but she says, “like many other practices, our dedicated GPs only work part-time hours, so getting in to see your GP on a particular day isn’t always possible.”
Patients are reminded to use the Manage My Health online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions.