Mobile clinic has already proven its worth

17 April 2013

After seven months of operation, Turanga Health’s mobile clinic has more than proved its worth, according to Tairawhiti District Health Board chair, David Scott.

Mr Scott and local MP, Anne Tolley, visited the EIT campus last week to see the mobile clinic in action.

"Mrs Tolley and Minister of Health Tony Ryall can be very pleased with the special project financial investment they provided to TDH late in 2012," said Mr Scott.

Late last year, the TDH board received government special funding to the tune of $345,000 to buy and kit out the clinic. The board agreed to lease the kitted-out van to Turanga Health and also committed to pay for the first year of operation.

Since then, said Mr Scott, Tairawhiti marae, schools and health clinics in the Western Rural area have been able to utilise the clinic. The van includes a toilet for collecting urine samples, a centrifuge for blood samples, a temperature-controlled portable rechargeable chilly bin for immunisations, along with other medical equipment.

Computers and an internet connection allow updated data to be entered into patient files immediately.

Last week Minister Tolley and Mr Scott watched EIT client services technician, Jaqui Isaac, receive her influenza vaccination right outside her polytechnic office in Palmerston Road. Many other health activities, including rheumatic fever checks, childhood vaccinations and blood pressure checks have all been carried out from the clinic over the past seven months.

“I believe this type of mobile medical access is the way of the future,” said Mr Scott.

 “And it will not just be restricted to rural areas. Gisborne city can also benefit. The clinic can be placed at places like netball courts and rugby fields, and taken to events such as triathlons, fun-runs or farmers markets. A condition of the mobile unit contract with TDH is that it can be used for significant events across the district that may be sponsored or facilitated by other health providers.”

Mr Scott said the mobile clinic was a tangible demonstration of the government’s push for better, sooner, more convenient primary health care.

“Tairawhiti’s active ‘clinic at your place’ will help our doctors diagnose serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease early on.  Early diagnosis will prevent the great sadness caused by the shortened lives of whanau members and also reduce the huge associated costs related to diagnostic tests, surgery, rehabilitation and medicines during the end stages of the diseases.”

ENDS

BACKGROUND

Better, Sooner, More Convenient Primary Health Care is the Government's initiative to deliver a more personalised primary health care system that provides services closer to home and makes Kiwis healthier.

Primary health care has a part to play in helping reduce acute demand pressure on hospitals by better managing chronic conditions and proactively supporting high need populations.

PHOTO CAPTION: EIT client services technician Jaqui Isaac relaxes after receiving her influenza vaccination in Turanga Health’s mobile clinic. Jaqui is pictured with Gisborne MP Anne Tolley and Tairawhiti District Health Board chair David Scott.

 

For more information contact:

Kathy McVey

Communications Manager

Tairawhiti District Health

06 869-0500 or 021 223-7094