Work has begun on an improved urgent after-hours health care service for Waiheke Island.
The Waiheke Oranga Urgent After- Hours Service will be provided by the Piritahi Hau Ora Trust and Waiheke Health Trust jointly, and will operate after-hours from the Oneroa Accident and Medical Centre in the Red Cross building.
The new model, funded by Auckland District Health Board, aims to improve existing after-hours primary health care for Waiheke residents and visitors to the island with a single location, extended clinic hours and a standardised fee structure for patients enrolled with the general practices on the island.
Under the current model, doctors and nurses provide urgent after-hours care from either of the two medical centres located in Oneroa and Ostend, with patients paying different fees depending on which local practice they are registered with. Providing these services from just one venue, standardising fees and extending clinic hours will improve access for patients and safety for clinicians, and help to reduce the costs involved in running after-hours services out of two locations.
The improved service will mean that eligible Waiheke Island patients receive the same reduction in fees as those across the metro Auckland area. Patients visiting the clinic will pay a maximum cost of $39 for a medical consult if they are over 65 years or have a high user health card or community services card. Medical consults at the clinic will be free for children and young people under 14 years.
Tipa Compain, Chair For Piritahi Hau Ora Trust says: “The rest of the trust team and I are very pleased and excited that the Waiheke community will now have an improved after-hours service. Both trusts have worked together over the past three to four years to bring this project to fruition.”
Vicki Montgomery, Chair of Waiheke Health Trust says: “This is a great outcome and we are grateful to Auckland District Health Board for supporting us on this journey. We look forward to further collaborative projects in the future.”
Tim Wood, Deputy Director of Planning and Funding for Auckland DHB says:
“Auckland DHB and the two Waiheke Island Health trusts are creating this new service in response to the needs of the people of Waiheke Island. Waiheke residents and visitors are set to benefit from more accessible, sustainable and safe after-hours and urgent care right within the Waiheke community.”
Auckland District Health Board and the two Waiheke Island health trusts are committed to the success of the service and to working together as joint service providers.
The improved service is planned to be up and running before the end of 2019.