Clinic consultation

Whanganui Free Clinic expands service to cover cold and flu patients

Whanganui DHB and Te Oranganui practitioners work together at the Mauri Ora Clinic at Whanganui Hospital. Photo / Provided

Help is at hand for residents of Whanganui who may not have a regular doctor or cannot get appointments at their usual doctor’s office.

HealthPathways administrator Jo Mair said the Mauri Ora Clinic, based at Whanganui Hospital, is available for people who do not have a regular GP or when GP teams are not in able to make an appointment on the day.

She said the clinic would typically see people for colds, flu and Covid-19 issues, or if people were referred to the clinic by their practice.

“The clinic has been operating on the hospital grounds for three months to cater for the growing number of Covid-19 cases, but because there are so many colds and flus, the ward has expanded to deal with other respiratory illnesses,” Mair said.

“Clinic staff can write prescriptions which are then sent to the selected pharmacy.”

With a broader focus on wellness, the clinic was renamed Clinique Mauri Ora.

Whanganui Accident & Medical (Wam) Health Services Managers Mon White and Gina Halvorson coordinate the general medical teams that make up the clinic.

“The Mauri Ora Clinic supports our general practice teams, who provide most clinical care in the community,” White said.

“We always encourage whānau to contact their GP first, as they may be able to make allowances for their patients, depending on the time of day.”

While the day-to-day running of the clinic is managed by Wam, it is staffed by a range of providers working together to ensure the health, social and welfare needs are met for those accessing this service.

“The goal of the clinic is for organizations to work collectively to provide clinical services as well as complementary support where needed,” said Te Oranganui chief executive Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata.

The free clinic is accessible through the hospital’s main entrance and visitors should follow the yellow signs on the grounds.

There is a drive-thru with reserved parking for those who need to get to a consultation room and those without transportation can walk in.

This service operates Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours may change based on need.

After-hours support will remain available.

The Mauri Ora Clinic is not just for emergencies and anyone with life-threatening symptoms such as chest pain or difficulty breathing should call 111 or go straight to the emergency room.