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Free ''health passports'' are now available in the Wakatipu and the Southern District Health Board says it supports the initiative by the Health and Disability Commission.
The bright purple health passports are intended to make sure health care and support staff quickly understand the needs of certain patients, most likely elderly patients and people with disabilities or multiple long-term conditions, those with limited English abilities, or those often admitted to hospital.
Health passports can be obtained from a patient's GP or primary care provider, or from Lakes District, Dunedin and Southland hospitals.
The passport can be completed with the patient's doctor, family or primary carer and contains information which is patient-specific such as ''Things you must know about me''.