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New urgent primary care service set to support Wānaka

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New urgent primary care service set to support Wānaka

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora will partner with Central Otago Health Services Limited to provide a new urgent primary care service in Wānaka for the next 12 months.

The nurse led service will be available from 11pm to 8am seven days a week in Wānaka with remote support provided by the local Dunstan Hospital overnight physician and rural after-hours telehealth service Ka Ora. It is anticipated that the service will be up and running in the next ten weeks.

Chiquita Hansen, Regional Wayfinder for Te Waipounamu, says Health NZ has been listening to community concerns about improving health care services in Central Otago.

“We are putting an interim solution in place for the Wānaka community while we look at alternate models of care that can be provided in the long-term across the region,” says Chiquita Hansen.

“We are aware that the population in Central Otago is growing fast and we continue to work with partners across our health system to improve access to primary healthcare. Our planning process will ensure community voices and local priorities inform any future developments.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the local general practice teams and Hato Hone St John in providing after hours and urgent care in the area. This new service will wrap around that work to provide 24/7 access to urgent and primary care.”

Hayley Anderson, Chief Executive Central Otago Health Services Limited, says the organisation is delighted to have the opportunity to provide the interim service.

“This is something we have considered could be delivered for our community for a long time and we are in the ideal position to be able to provide this support, with the back-up of our service and senior medical staff located at Dunstan Hospital.”

“Recruitment and fit-out of the space will be underway shortly and we look forward to being able to announce the official start date of the service in the near future.”

Other work has also been underway to support health service provision in the area, such as the introduction of the new Ka Ora rural telehealth after-hours service in December 2023 and the construction of the new primary birthing unit in Wānaka.