City gets clinic on wheels

From our archives: June 26, 1997

Last updated 05:00 08/02/2013

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Invercargill has become the second city in the country to have a Plunket clinic on wheels.

The new $40,000 bus was launched yesterday, just 15 months after the idea was mooted.

Invercargill branch president Aileen McNaughton said it would make it easier for parents with transport problems to see their Plunket nurse.

The bus will travel to areas where clinics have closed and make regular trips to outlying areas such as Bluff, Wallacetown, Tokanui, Makarewa and Morton Mains.

Some of the money for the mobile clinic came from the sale of Plunket rooms at Waimahaka and Newfield.

Mrs McNaughton said the Dipton Street clinic, in Invercargill, would also close soon.

Plunket area councillor Kaye Crowther said the only other mobile clinics in the country were in Auckland.

Immediate past-president Jackie Hutchings had done much of the work to get the bus on the road.

There were many others to thank, including Trust Bank Southland Community Trust and Rotary, which raised money to furbish and paint the vehicle, Mrs Crowther said.

Some Plunket nurses had to sit their heavy trade licences so they could drive the bus and that had been quite a challenge, she said.

At the launch yesterday, Invercargill Mayor David Harrington said it was another milestone for Plunket.

But he was concerned the Government appeared to be reducing its financial support for the group.

It was sad Plunket had been forced to cut the hours of its national telephone help line service recently, Mr Harrington said.

The bus includes most of the features common in other clinics, including a selection of toys and electronic baby weighing scales.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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