The new service will be available every day from 6pm to 10pm. Between 6pm and 8pm the 0800 373 030 service will connect people to their local after-hours service. From 8pm to 10pm people will be connected with a clinician who is trained and qualified to triage urgent medical issues. If a face-to-face consultation is required, an appointment will be offered with a GP, Nurse Practitioner or Practice Nurse at Palms Medical Centre, 445 Ferguson St, Palmerston North.
The new service will start on Monday 9 April and is an interim arrangement while a more permanent service is developed.
MidCentral DHB’s Strategy, Planning and Performance General Manager Craig Johnston said the after-hours urgent Primary Care free-phone model has some definite advantages. It will enable people to have faster and more convenient access to expert clinicians. In particular, patients will avoid unnecessary cost, travel and time spent in a waiting room.
Dr Bruce Stewart, Chair of Central PHO Board, is delighted that the Primary Care community has responded positively and will continue to focus on meeting the needs of the community. Dr Stewart reminds people that their general practice is their first port of call for medical care during normal opening hours.
The Primary Care community will continue to evolve this important after-hours service over the next few months.
People should continue to call 111 in an emergency.