April 2022

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Digihealth a great opportunity for whānau to connect with Tui Ora

Thanks to a recently refurbished Waitara Domett St clinic and the power of technlology, Tui Ora will be able to reach whānau like never before.

A $100k grant from the Ministry of Health has allowed the Tui Ora Family Health team to establish digihealth facilities at the enhanced site, which champions the use of virtual communication to reach whānau that may be unable to meet kanohi-ki-te-kanohi.

Addressing the Tui Ora Family Health team in a hui at the refreshed site on Wednesday morning, GP and clinical director Dr Bernard Leuthart went over the mahi that has gone into getting the site reestablished, as well as the big ambitions he has for it. 

“First of all I’d like to give a big mihi to the Tui Ora business development team, they have really cracked things along over the last few months getting the site revamp to completion through all the chaos of COVID. We’re really looking forward to being able to use the space to welcome in whānau from Waitara, Urenui, and even places slightly further afield like Mōkau. It has a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do with it.”

The new setup brings with it administrative rearrangements. Longstanding Tui Ora Family Health administrator Airingi will now be based at the new site to manage the front desk, and a few services including Taranaki Stop Smoking Service, Mama Pepe Hauora, and Tiaki Ūkaipō will be be able to base some of their mahi in Waitara to extend their reach and accessibility to whānau. In addition, the new consultation rooms will allow the team to run GP clinics out of the site on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The new consultation rooms are fully equipped to accomodate patients, with the all important addition of videolink technology in most of the rooms to let whānau join in on a virtual consult.

“We hope that the facility can duplicate as much as possible what we can offer at the Maratahu St site”, Bernard explains. “We’d like to be able to have nurses based here 4 days a week, and the idea is to be able to offer nursing clinics face-to-face, as well as nurse facilitation of doctor consultations here via telelink, especially on days that we don’t have a doctor on site. Transportation is sometimes an issue for whānau, so the setup we have here will allow whānau to patch in and have their consultation virtually. It’s quite a streamlined service, but I think it’s  going to be a real asset for us.”

General Manager Whānau Ora Tam Ruakere agrees that the new facility is a great step forward for our service delivery capabilities. “ It’s excellent to have an enhanced whare where whānau have more options to engage with us and vice versa. The pandemic has presented a range of challenges for our ability to connect with the community so this is a great opportunity to reach out virtually and deliver our services, and have a beautiful refreshed space for whānau to visit.”

In keeping with Tui Ora’s longstanding tradition of naming rooms in accordance with people and symbols of significance, the new site has been gifted names which reflect the Waitara locality, namely Piharau, Taraute, Inanga, Tuna and Kahawai.

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