Medical centre says no to bureaucratic calls

A Dunedin medical centre under ‘‘extreme pressure’’ is imploring people not to clog up primary care with bureaucracy.

Aurora Health Centre director and doctor Jill McIlraith said the centre was experiencing high demand for its services, not only from patients who were unwell, but anxious people who were after reassurance regarding Covid-19.

‘‘This is particularly so in South Dunedin, where we have many elderly and vulnerable people.’’

A doctor and a nurse had been rostered at the centre to be on the phone all day to manage demand and answering queries.

Online bookings had been cancelled so all patients could be asked screening questions by reception staff.

‘‘This is the only way we can manage the flow and get sick patients seen appropriately while protecting others in the waiting room and our staff .’’

While the centre was triaging the work flow, she said it would greatly help if less necessary appointments ceased.

Issuing a plea to employers and education facilities, Dr McIlraith said those wanting a letter for their employer were not a group the centre had capacity to see at present.

‘‘ If ACC and Winz can accept phone consultations and are being flexible . . . so should employers be.

‘‘We do not think it is a good use of health resources to rubber-stamp what is now official advice — if you are unwell, stay home.’’

Patients coming in asking the centre to phone their workplace and explain why they should be home from work should not use up health resources, she said.

Other requests for appointments the centre could not accept included those wanting to be tested for Covid-19 in order to return to work early, not because they were at risk, and parents of children with minor colds who needed a letter.

‘‘We will see the child if the parent is concerned, but not just to provide documentation for the child care centre or school.’’

She requested the public’s assistance in keeping vulnerable members of the community safe.

‘‘Seeing patients with mild viral illnesses uses up valuable appointments and has potential to waste personal protective equipment . .. meaning it will not be available to protect staff and other patients when it is really needed.’’

emma.perry@odt.co.nz

Comments

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Well, quite frankly, if the Ministry of Health had rolled out TESTING in the early stages we wouldn't have the urgency and disruption we are currently experiencing. Overseas examples of blanket TESTING has had excellent results.
Why are we waiting for the train wreck? Where is the plan Mr Clark? Are we all going to be forced home with our heads in the sand and hope it all just goes away?
Just roll out the TESTING for Pete's sake! Come on Jacinda, lockdowns will just continue fear and the unknowing. People need direction and certainty. Quite simply, we are NOT doing all we could. TESTING.

By now, you would have heard the 12 pm news conference.

Shut up, follow recommendations and don't be part of the problem.

And by now you will be well aware that the path we are taking is leading us further down the hole.
I will not apologise for speaking out.

I'm no fan of Jacinda , bit to be fair , we'd still need this lockdown. And disruption. We simply cannot test enough people to stop this virus from testing alone, it spreads unseen through asymptomatic people. The best tool is to limit human contact and shit the borders. No over seas countries have blanket testing. And no country has stopped this without major disruption.

Testing ability is being increased every day Mark. South Korea has announced a test that gives a result in 10 minutes. That sort of ability will only get better as the days pass by. Drive through testing has already been rolled out there. However, in the meantime, we could either adopt some form of testing, or, continue to do nothing but wash our hands, isolates ourselves, and watch our fragile economy collapse while we take calming words from Jacinda and watch the shop shelves empty out. Do we look further afield?, do we get proactive?, or do we follow recommendations that will steer us straight down the barrel where others have been? We have an opportunity to capitalise on the lessons and learning from overseas, why not pursue that?
Why can't we as a well educated and University based nation push back against this in a proactive manner. We're at the early stages, why play around and fall as the others have?

Our politicians are a big part of the problem. Mass testing was needed weeks ago when Jilinda's clowns were authorising 11 tests a day and claiming we did not have a problem.

Today we hear their wonderful strategy to make all bar patrons sign a register on entry ... what planet do these people come from ... we need some politicians with an ounce of pragmatism to come forward before these idiots lead us to the point of no return

Sorry, Buzz, I missed the point of the story: medical practice.

GP's have Better Things To Do than sign sick notes for the worried well. Don't be wuss. Settle down. They're managing sick people. Go awaii!

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