DHB turns down free vouchers

Hospital emergency departments around the country are struggling to deal with non-urgent cases and some are offering vouchers for free GP visits to people with community service cards.

Southland is trialling the vouchers for three months.

But Taranaki District Health Board and Midlands Health are not looking at introducing the vouchers, Taranaki DHB Clinical Services Manager Gill Campbell said.

"It is important people go to ED for emergencies only and to their GP for other non-urgent medical needs. That is why the Taranaki DHB is working closely with the Midlands Health Network to educate people about seeing a health professional that will best manage their current health needs and ensure they receive the right care, at the right place at the right time."

The DHB is ensuring patients can access a GP or primary care provider, she said.

"If a person arrives at ED with a condition that would be better managed by a GP, then ED staff will ring and make an appointment with the patient's GP or direct them to a general practice who will be able to see them in a timely manner."

This will mean ED can spend more time caring for those with serious conditions who require more urgent medical attention.

Taranaki Daily News