After-hours clinic popular

The Invercargill after-hours clinic is reducing appointment times as more patients flock to the service.

The clinic located at Te Hau o Te Ora, the healthcare provider in Clyde St, opened on March 28, a day after a similar clinic closed.

The new service is from 6pm-9pm Monday to Friday and from noon-4pm on weekends and public holidays, and has been operating as such since opening.

It is still appointment-based only. To accommodate more patients, the clinic has decided to reduce consultations from 20 minutes to 15 minutes as of last week.

A large proportion of the clinic’s patients are children, under 14, with parents presenting at the weekend.

This service remains a temporary solution, with casual staff at the clinic.

"We are rostering staff a month in advance and have been fortunate to have a consistent mix of general practitioners and nurse practitioners, many from Invercargill," the clinic said in a statement.

"We continue to work with Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora and general practices on what a long term, after-hours primary care solution might look like."