We want to keep you informed as to the happenings in the practice. We post regular updates on our Facebook page. that are also shown below:
Further to the lockdown announcement made this evening, our clinic will be closed for routine face to face consultations until further notice. All GP consultations booked will move to phone appointments and your GP will call you at your appointment time. All nurse appointments will be cancelled and our team will be in contact to reschedule.
Our urgent clinic will continue to provide 24/7 medical care for patients presenting with acute medical needs – for example chest pain, shortness of breath or severe injuries. If you do not have any of these symptoms but still want to talk to a GP, please call on 078665911 and request a phone appointment – one of our urgent doctors will call you back as soon as possible.
We are also a designated Covid-19 swabbing site and will run multiple clinics during the day to meet demand. Please call first and you will be given a time slot for one of our swabbing clinics. We also recommend that you visit the MOH website to review the places of interest recorded in Coromandel Township. We thank you for your continued support and will keep updating as more information becomes available.
Mercury Bay Medical Centre is extremely short staffed over the next 2 weeks. Our planned locum GP cover has been delayed in Australia and we have been unable to secure any additional locum cover despite exhaustive efforts. This is a reflection of the growing national GP workforce shortage in NZ. We need to prioritize our limited resources and as such have taken the unprecedented step of being unable to see casual/unregistered patients unless their condition is serious or life threatening. We ask that in all other scenarios casual patients should either see if they can have a virtual consult with their regular GP (if appropriate) or present to Thames Emergency Department who are aware of the situation.
We ask the community to help us to look after our most sick and vulnerable by using our limited resources responsibly. We ask that if you have a booked appointment consider if your issue can be dealt with by a phone consultation which is more time efficient for us and is more cost effective for you. Please only access the urgent care clinic if your problem is acute and urgent.
We have a deluge of viral upper respiratory tract infections in the community currently. Please only contact us for clinical review if you feel you have symptoms which are more serious than a common cold and remember to ring rather than presenting directly to the medical centre. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) affects the lungs and respiratory tract and is nationally rampant. In older, healthy children it mimics a common cold and the symptoms are mild requiring self care measures only. In young children, especially infants (under 12 months) it can cause serious illness affecting breathing – here is a link for guidance on when to seek help or talk to us: https://www.kidshealth.org.nz/bronchiolitis. We want to see those babies who are having breathing difficulties.
Our team is working very hard to cover the gap and we thank you for your patience and understanding, and for working with us to ensure timely access for those in our community who really need us. The good news is we have secured some excellent additions to the team in the following months who we are looking forward to welcoming to our community.
Mercury Bay Medical Centre team
Kia ora Patients
We have had a significant number of enquiries regarding covid vaccinations. We understand everyone is anxious for more information and the practice has prepared the following update:
The covid vaccination programme is a DHB led initiative. That means control over the vaccine, who gets vaccinated and when, all sits with the Waikato DHB. Private practices like ourselves are working to support the DHB on this project, but we cannot setup vaccination clinics by ourselves yet. We don’t have any dates at this stage for the next available clinic in Whitianga. We know there is work underway for a community vaccination site in Whitianga, but no confirmed dates of when / where. We will advise our patients as soon as we have more confirmed details. Please contact the DHB if you have any further queries or refer to covid19.govt.nz website.
There will also be an article in this weeks’ The Informer newspaper, with more about the clinics run up to now and plans going forward.
MB Medical Centre Team
At this stage we are taking appointments for adults over the age of 65 only. Clinics run from Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and also Saturday from 9am to 11:30am.
Bookings are essential and can be made at the practice or call us on 07 866 5911.
We are still waiting for confirmation from the Ministry of Health on flu vaccinations for high needs patients and the remaining population. Indications are May 2021, but this is not confirmed yet.
We will keep you updated as we receive further information.
Nga mihi, Mercury Bay Medical Centre Team
PATIENT LAB FORM UPDATE
Effective as of today, 23 November 2020, Pathlab are no longer able to hold patient lab forms, or request copies.
Going forward all lab forms must be collected from our clinic at 87 Albert Street (the White House), prior to presenting for a test.
This includes all forms that have already been issued and patients asked to go directly to Pathlab.
Lab forms will be available to collect from our front desk.
Nga mihi, Mercury Bay Medical Centre Team
WE ARE GROWING OUR DOCTOR TEAM!
Mercury Bay Medical Centre is excited to announce the arrival of two new GP’s at our practice.
Dr. Joan MacEachen, a Locum GP from Alaska, has been visiting our community since 2014 and is returning again this year for the summer period. Dr. MacEachen will be seeing patients by appointment only, so please ask for her by name if you wish to see her. Appointments can be booked now and is available from 9 November 2020.
Dr. Nalini Ramnarace is new to our practice and will be a permanent addition to our team. Dr. Ramnarace recently immigrated to New Zealand from the United Kingdom. She will be working in our urgent clinic and use this time to get to know the community. Dr. Ramnarace is arriving on the 4th of November 2020 and will be consulting with patients through the urgent care clinic from the 16th of November 2020.
We know that our enrolled patients are finding it challenging to book appointments with their preferred GP. The addition of Dr. MacEachen and Dr. Ramnarace will not only free up appointments for our doctors in high demand, but also reduce wait times.
Our community is growing by the day and with it the demand for medical care. We are hoping to expand our doctor team even further in the near future and will keep you posted on developments.
Nga mihi, Mercury Bay Medical Centre Team
On 1 April 2020 Mercury Bay Medical Centre and The Doctor’s Surgery will merge together to become one practice working from both sites under Mercury Bay Medical Centre.
Dr Hemmes/Adam’s patients: Drs Hemmes and Adam will continue to see their own patients and your medical records will be added to Mercury Bay Medical Centre’s system.
Primary Health Organisation (PHO) change: From 1 April 2020 all patients will then be registered under The Midlands Health Network PHO. As a result, all after hours care will occur at 87 Albert St (The White House). This means that no registered patients will be charged casual fees for afterhours care. Please see www.mbmc.co.nz for further price details.
Making appointments: After 1 April 2020 please phone 07 8665911 to book appointments for the Doctor or nurse. This number is available from 8am to 5pm weekdays for booking appointments. This will get you through to our patient access centre (PAC) where multiple call takers are available in a private setting.
As we will be working from both sites @58 & @87 Albert St – please ensure you are aware of the location of your appointment.
For acute on the day care please phone 07 8665911 and PAC will assist you through the triage process.
After hours: For afterhours calls you will be transferred to our on-call nursing service where a Doctor can be reached if required. This service operates from 5pm until 8am the following morning on 07 8665911. From 1 April all after hours/urgent care will be provided @ 87 Albert St (The White House).
As always for life threatening emergencies please call 111.
Pathlab: From 20th March 2020, due to increasing demand for services Pathlab will be moving to a stand-alone location @ 26 Lee St, Whitianga. Please present there for all blood tests from this date.
External providers: All Thames Physiotherapy appointments, Denture Plus and Mole map services will be located at 58 Albert St from week beginning 6 April 2020.
We understand this is a change for the community; however, we are working hard to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible for all involved.