Taking Our Services to the Community
“If it’s difficult for whanau to come to us, we need to go to them” says Dr Tamara Birchall who has recently been appointed to the Hauora Whanui team and who has been coordinating a bigger and better outreach service to remote rural communities. This service has been operating for many years but now we are stepping up our clinics to offer more services to more communities.
The team currently makes monthly visits to Mangakahia, Waikare, Russell and Pipiwai and two-monthly visits to Tautoro and Rawhitiroa. From June we’re adding two more communities to our monthly visits roster – Motatau and Whakapara.
The team, which always includes a Dr, nurse, asthma nurse and the mirimiri team will now also include other services which may be dental services, tamariki ora nurses, a dietician, drug and alcohol and mental health kaimahi, a stop smoking coach, sexual health promotion kaimahi or a Whanau Ora navigator These will vary as kaimahi are available but communities will be notified in advance who to expect.
No appointments are needed. Whanau are encouraged to drop in for health and diabetes checks as well as information and advice and the opportunity to have a confidential korero about their health issues. There’s a cup of tea going too.
The visits rely heavily on the coordination in each community by a Community Champion. Without their behind-the-scenes organising the service could not operate as effectively. Mihi nui ki a koutou nga kaiwhakahaere.