Student Health staff to screen all patients

From today, Student Health at the University of Otago will change the way it provides patient care in a bid to reduce the risk of staff and students being exposed to Covid-19.

The university’s website said the changes would increase check-in time and appointment availability. Students were advised to arrive early for appointments.

All students would be screened by staff at the main doors before entering Student Health.

Those with respiratory symptoms, an associated travel history or who were known to have had contact with someone suspected of having Covid-19, would be asked to undergo further screening and would be directed to the south-end door of Student Health.

"Due to social distancing advice from the Ministry of Health, bring only one support person with you to any appointments at Student Health.

"Non-essential appointments such as travel, healthy lifestyle, routine IUD, Jadelle, and self-check STIs have been cancelled until further notice."

Evening clinics have also been cancelled until further notice and staff would be reallocated to day clinics, the website said.

Staff identified as being at a higher risk of infection will undertake non-face-to-face patient care and be based offsite.

Students who are in isolation for respiratory symptoms or known Covid-19 contacts will be offered phone or online appointments on an as-needed basis.

Student Health will now be offering repeat prescriptions, without an appointment, via email.

Over the coming weeks, Student Health will be providing extra MMR and flu vaccination clinics for all students, including international students, in bid to ease the strain on the city’s health services.

Based on the latest advice from the Ministry of Health, vaccines will initially be prioritised for at-risk patients and staff working in healthcare settings.

Students in Auckland, Christchurch, Invercargill, and Wellington can receive their vaccination via their GP practice or local pharmacy, and will be reimbursed for the cost.

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