Winter Newsletter

The extensions to the building are now complete, and we now have a special room set up for minor surgical procedures, as well as two more consulting rooms, and a new enlarged staff room. This will allow us to provide even better service for your health needs.

You may have noticed that the practice has some new medical and reception staff. Mel Woodmass and Jenny Veale have joined our reception team in part time roles. They both have a wealth of experience with working with the people.

Dr Hui  (Sheng-Hui) Wang joined us in December , and Dr Olga Dubnytska in April  of this year. Hui is a New Zealand graduate from Otago medical school, and Olga graduated in Ukraine, then practiced in UK before moving here 5 years ago where she worked at The Palms Medical Centre for several years.

Dr John Drake has reached the age of superannuation and has reduced his commitment to part-time, with Olga to assist at this stage. John is taking some long service leave from August –October, and will return to work then.

Stephan Lombard continues as ever, and at present has the extra responsibility of doctor to the Manawatu Turbos rugby team again this season, assisted by Hui.

We also welcome back Dr Aisha Khatib from Canada. Aisha was with us from 2013-16, and has returned to locum here until October while John Drake is on leave.

We encourage the ‘patient portal’ which allows access to your medical file for results and health status recordings, which is a bit like internet banking for your medical records, as well as enabling appointment booking on line.

Due to privacy considerations, it’s necessary to register for a higher level of security with our staff at reception. This needs to be done in person – unless you are personally known to the reception staff it will be necessary to bring some form of identification. This verification process is for your own protection, since we want to be absolutely sure that our patients’ health information is only being accessed by those who are authorised to do so. Once you have completed the verification process, your test results will be available on the ManageMyHealth website as soon as they have been viewed and filed by your doctor.

​​Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly infectious, relatively common infection which is especially dangerous for our very youngest citizens, and very distressing for other people who catch it (hence the popular name “the 100 day cough”). Children are vaccinated against whooping cough from the age of 6 weeks. The vaccine is safe and effective, but it leaves the very youngest babies still at risk, because it takes 3 injections to develop full immunity – and that doesn’t happen until they are 5 months old.

The good news is that there is a very effective way to protect young babies from whooping cough: their mothers can be vaccinated during their pregnancy -between 28 and 38 weeks.  Immunity in the form of antibodies passes through the placenta to the baby, giving temporary protection (until the baby is fully vaccinated). In NZ the vaccine is provided free to pregnant women.

It might sound scary to vaccinate pregnant women but recent research from different parts of the world (UK, USA, and Argentina) has shown that this approach is both safe and over 90% effective.

We strongly encourage all our pregnant mums-to-be to take up the option of a free whooping cough booster in the 3rd trimester of their pregnancy. If you know someone having a baby, remind them about this – they may not have heard how important and effective this simple step can be! Pregnant women are more susceptible to severe complications of influenza, so don’t forget to get a flu shot if you are pregnant during the influenza season from March to September.

Another strategy to protect newborn babies is to ensure that adults who come into contact with them are given a booster of whooping cough vaccine, to reduce the chance of transmission. We also encourage this approach to reduce the spread of this vicious bacteria. Grandmas and grandads – this means you!

Talk to our doctors or nurses if you have any questions or concerns. If you are pregnant (between 28 and 38 weeks) don’t hesitate – ring and book yourself in for this free shot right now!

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