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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

August 5, 2010

Medical Advice for West Coasters

A new procedure for West Coasters needing medical advice has been launched by the West Coast District Health Board and the West Coast Primary Health Organisation.

In an accident or medical emergency where life or limbs may be at risk people should phone 111 and request an ambulance.

People needing immediate medical advice in a situation that is not an emergency are requested to phone their local medical/health centre 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the centre is unattended, calls will be diverted to an experienced registered nurse who will give advice on the best course of action to follow. This may include, when appropriate, how you might be able to manage your health problem yourself until your medical centre reopens. This procedure will be the same for all medical centres throughout the West Coast.

"We want people seen by the right person, in the right place at the right time," said Dr Jocelyn Tracey, PHO clinical director. This will ensure that issues best resolved by a appointment with your local doctor or nurse will be referred to them and more serious issues best dealt with by hospital Emergency Departments are referred there.

There will also be the additional benefit of keeping emergency departments for emergencies and not have their resources overrun with non urgent illnesses and injuries that could easily be dealt with at the local health centre.

Emergency Department Clinical Nurse manager Julie Lucas emphasised that anybody who thinks that they may need medical help, particularly after normal business hours, should phone their local medical centre first and follow the advice given.

A brochure containing a fridge magnet reminding people what to do has been delivered to all West Coast households this week.

People not enrolled at a West Coast medical centre such as visitors can get advice by phoning 03 769 7449.


For more information please contact

Bryan Jamieson
Community Liaison Officer
West Coast DHB
PO Box 387
Greymouth 7840
Phone (DDI): (03) 769-7665
Mobile: 027 245-9595
Email: This is not a link as we want to prevent spam.  Please transfer the email address on the image carefully into your email client before sending the email.  You might find, with some older email addresses on this site that they are no longer current, for staff-change reasons.  If your email bounces back please contact the WCDHB Communications Team - see Contacts section of this site.

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