To our patient community at Northcare Medical Centre
We are sending you this message to let you know that we are still here for you. We’ve had to rapidly adjust to doing things differently because of COVID-19, but our top priority, as always, is to help you stay healthy.
• We are still here for you and want to keep you well (it’s what matters to us the most).
• Please don’t drop into the practice – call us for advice first.
• We have become really experienced at remote assessment and treatment so may be able to help you through our patient portal, or by phone or video call.
• We will still see you in person if necessary, but most things can be safely managed without coming to the practice.
• We still need to charge a standard consultation charge (same as before COVID-19) for sorting things out for you.
The reason we’re doing remote assessment and treatment is because in places badly hit by COVID-19 overseas, healthcare workers ended up becoming the source of COVID-19 infection for many vulnerable people. The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners has instructed every medical centre in the country to significantly reduce the number of in person consultations, so we can reduce that risk as much as possible.
You might be wondering how all this works. It’s not as big a change as you might imagine. A large part of the work we do is about gathering information by talking to you, and reviewing the history we have of your health conditions.
It is not our goal to eliminate doctor visits entirely. GPs will still need to listen to your chest when it’s clinically important, injuries will still need to be treated, and our nursing team will still lead our flu vaccination programme.
When you request an appointment you will be called back by a doctor or nurse who will talk to you to work out whether you need to be seen in person, or whether a phone or video call would be suitable. Essentially our waiting room is closed, to protect both you and our practice team. If you do need to visit the practice in person you may receive care in your car (for a vaccination for example) or be brought directly to a specific consultation room in the practice. If we suspect you have COVID-19, you may be directed to a specialised clinic for testing.
These are really significant changes to the way we do things, but we still need to pay our bills during this time. Whatever method we use to help you, we will let you know the standard GP consultation, nursing or prescription charge that applies. The charges will be added to your account, which you can pay online if possible. We appreciate this is a different way of payment and not everyone has access to this method, so let us know if it will be a problem for you. We’re doing it to keep both you and our staff safe.
Please remember that just because we will not be seeing you in person as often, it doesn’t mean we have stopped caring about keeping you well. It’s what matters to us the most, and it’s the reason we do our jobs. Please bear with us as we adjust to these changes. We’re doing our best to continue delivering healthcare at a standard that we are proud of.
We know these changes have caused disruption and we are sorry.
There is one important thing you can do to help smooth this transition and take a little pressure off the practice: PLEASE CALL US FOR ADVICE.
Please do not turn up without letting anybody know you are coming in advance. This puts yourself and others at risk.
You can also use our patient portal Myindici to contact us.
Thank you for your support and patience during this difficult time.
Dr. Rebekah Doran – Northcare Pukete
Dr. John Morgan – Northcare Rototuna
Dr. Nick Binns – Northcare Grandview