In recent months, particularly during the month of July, the Whanganui Accident and Medical (WAM) clinic has experienced increasing numbers of patients presenting. There are various reasons for this, including seasonal illnesses, such as colds and flu. This trend is expected to continue throughout August and September and as a result, patients may experience considerable waiting times at WAM. Peak times in the clinic are Monday’s and Friday’s, between the hours of 9am and 4pm.
The WAM team would like to remind whanau/families that the best health care for children is to regularly attend your general practice, so that children receive continuity of care with the team that knows them. General practice has full access to medical notes and receives funding, aimed at minimising cost and improving health outcomes for children. That is why the government has funded free visits for under 13 year olds at general practices between the hours of 8am and 5pm on weekdays, and not at WAM.
Effective from 1 August 2017, WAM will charge $10.00 for children under 13 years that present with a medical condition during the hours of 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Medical presentations for under 13 year olds after the hours of 5pm and on weekends and public holidays will remain free. ACC presentations will also remain free for children under 13 years, during all the hours that WAM is open (8am to 9pm, seven days a week).
General practices are working to ensure that children under 13 years with medical issues can be seen at their own practice on the day that they require medical attention. However, as a contingency, WAM will continue to provide urgent and after-hours services to patients that live in Whanganui and for visitors to our region.
For further comment please contact WRHN Communications & Technology Coordinator – Karen Veldhoen on (06) 348 0109 extn 708