Ground floor, Ilam Health Building, 110 Memorial Avenue, Burnside, Christchurch : Ph 03 351 6198 :

Author Archive

Masks no longer required in the waiting room

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

We no longer require patients to wear masks in the practice.

Patients will still be screened for respiratory symptoms.  Anyone experiencing a cough, runny nose, sneezing or Flu symptoms will be asked to wait in the carpark.

 

Unavoidable Fee increase

Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

July 2022

Increase in Patient Fees

We are very sorry that we have had to increase our patient fees and can understand the frustration this may cause our patients.

Why has this happened?

This increase is as a direct result of the government imposing a significant real-terms cut in funding from our services with effect 1 July 2022.

As at 31 March 2022, national inflation rises were running at 6.9%. Additionally, general practice has experienced a range of further cost pressures which has meant our total costs have risen by over 10% compared to this time last year.

The government has imposed a funding increase of just 3%. Our national representative body has been having further discussions with government officials but, to date, they are being ignored. General practice has no right or contractual means to negotiate our funding, despite what you might have heard the Minister of Health stating in the media

We want to treat our staff fairly. Our nurses and GPs have continued providing core services as well as providing our essential COVID response over the past two years. Yet the government funds our staff at a much lower level than equivalent doctors and nurses doing the same level of work in government-run hospital settings.

We think that is unfair. We also think it is important that we can retain essential staff to be able to continue providing essential services for you. We are well aware that our staff could choose to go and work overseas for a much higher salary – and they could do so tomorrow.

What if I can’t afford the increased fees?

Most importantly, you should not avoid seeking medical help when needed. If you have any problems paying or the fees put you off from seeing a doctor when you need one – please talk to us about it. For medical emergencies, you always have the right to attend and be seen at the Emergency Department at our local hospital – and there is no charge for this service.

What can I do to help?

Firstly, thank you for asking and for allowing us to explain this no-win situation we have found ourselves in. We hope we can reverse the government’s decision and reduce our fees again.

You can definitely help. This can be done very simply by e-mailing or writing to our local MP, Sarah Pellett and the Minister of Health to express your concern at the government’s decision to reduce funding for essential family doctor services.

From the Partners at Ilam Medical Centre

Bexsero (Meningococcal B) Vaccination Funding 2023

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.

At least 12 groups/strains of this have been identified, including A, B, C, X, Y,  and W.

In New Zealand over 2014–2017, meningococcal group B caused around two-thirds of meningococcal disease each year, group C almost one-third and groups Y or W the remaining few cases. In 2022, group B was the prominent type in NZ causing 80% of group-identified cases.

 

Bexsero, a multicomponent recombinant vaccine against meningococcal B disease is available in New Zealand and is now part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule (in addition to all other vaccines already on the schedule).

 

As part of this schedule change, the government is funding a catch-up schedule. See tables below for information on the schedule, catch up programme, and key definitions:

 

Scheduled programme: No end date Scheduled programme: No end date
– Children aged up to 12 months.

 

Administered as part of the Childhood Immunisation Programme at three months, five months, and a booster dose at 12 months.

– People aged 13-25 in their first year of specified close living situations.

 

Two doses funded, eight weeks apart

Catch-up programme: Ends 31 August 2025 Catch-up programme: Ends 28 February 2024
– Children aged 13months to 59months (4yrs 11months).

 

Up to three doses funded, depending on the age of the child when they have the first dose.

– All people aged 13-25 in specified close living situations (not just in their first year).

 

Two doses funded, eight weeks apart

 

Definitions
Close Living Close living is defined in the pharmaceutical schedule as individuals who are currently living in or entering their first year of boarding school hostels, tertiary education halls of residence, military barracks, or prisons.
Catch-up programme age criteria As for all vaccines with an upper age limit – if the course is started before that age limit, then the funded course can be completed. For example, if a child has their first dose of Bexsero before their fifth birthday then they are eligible for the full course.

 

 

Additional Information

Other meningococcal vaccines that protect against groups A, C, W and Y are also available in New Zealand, but are not funded within the childhood immunisation schedule. For best protection against all meningococcal disease in New Zealand, separate vaccinations against group B disease and groups A, C, Y and W disease are recommended. Please have a read of the websites below and/or ask your GP or nurse for information if you wish to learn more about this.

 

 

Websites for Further Reading

Bexsero – Immunisation Advisory Centre (immune.org.nz)

https://www.immune.org.nz/diseases/meningococcal-disease

Appointments under the Traffic light system

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

Orange settings

We encourage telephone consultations where possible but for those patients needing to be seen in the clinic they will be asked health questions related to Covid symptoms before an appointment can be made. It is very important that these questions are answered honestly.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients can be seen in the clinic but only after being triaged and a mask will be required. Any patients with a mask exemption will need to be seen outside in our Covid cabin – please let the reception team know when you make the booking.,

 

If you have been in contact with a Covid 19 case within the last 14 please DO NOT come into our building. Speak to reception about booking a telephone consultation.

 

Thank you for your co operation with these processes.

Flu Vaccines 2022

Monday, April 4th, 2022

Appointments are now available for Flu Vaccinations. Bookings can be made over the phone.

 

Why is the influenza vaccination important this year?

This year, as COVID-19 restrictions ease and borders reopen, it can be expected that a resurgence of respiratory viruses will follow, including influenza. During COVID-19 outbreaks, influenza vaccination is important, as the co-circulation of both diseases leads to an increased risk of serious illness if both viruses are caught whilst unvaccinated.

 

Eligibility:

The influenza vaccine is recommended and funded for people who meet the eligibility criteria, as set by PHARMAC. This includes

– Pregnant people

– People aged 65 years and older

– People aged 6 months to under 65 years with eligible conditions

– Māori and Pacific peoples aged 55 to 64 years

– Tamariki aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness (including measles) or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

For a full list of eligible conditions, please refer to www.influenza.org.nz, or view the PHARMAC website: https://schedule.pharmac.govt.nz/ScheduleOnline.php

 

The Vaccines Available This Year:

Age Vaccine Dose Number of doses Cost per dose
(If not eligible for a funded vaccine)
6-35 months Afluria Quad Junior 0.25mL 1 or 2* $24
3-64 years Afluria Quad 0.5mL 1 or 2* $24
≥ 65 years Afluria Quad
(Funded option)
0.5mL 1 N/A
(This is funded for all in this age group).
Fluad Quad
(Non-funded option)**
0.5mL 1 No stock left

 

*Tamariki aged 6 months to under 9 years who are receiving the influenza vaccine for the first time should receive two doses, at least 4 weeks apart.

**Fluad Quad is available for purchase for those aged ≥ 65 years.
As we age, our immune system becomes less effective. This vaccine is designed to promote a stronger immune response, and so is potentially more effective for people in this age group.
Unfortunately we have already used our initial stock and we are unable to order any more of these vaccines.

 

For 2022, the influenza strains included in the quadrivalent vaccines are:

• A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus

• A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus (new)

• B/Austria/1359417/2021-like virus (new)

• B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

 

COVID-19 and the Influenza Vaccination

It is safe to have the Influenza vaccination at the same time as all COVID-19 vaccinations, except Novavax. Please refer to the listed websites for information, or call to discuss any concerns or queries with a nurse before booking your appointment.

If you have had COVID-19, and are no longer isolating, there is no stand-down period required before having your influenza vaccination.

For more information, please refer to the following website: https://www.influenza.org.nz/sites/default/files/IMAC_Flu_Kit_2022_29-03-2022.pdf

 

 

R.A.T.s & P.C.R. testing for Covid19

Wednesday, March 16th, 2022

We are offering Rapid Antigen Tests [RATs] according to Ministry of Health [MoH] guidelines. Currently, testing is required for:

– Asymptomatic household contacts on day 3 and 7 of isolation

– Anyone with Covid-19-like symptoms, regardless of whether they are a household contact or not.

Please call reception to book in for a test if you meet this criteria.

We do also have some P.C.R. Covid-19 tests available, but again there are strict guidelines from the MoH about this and most people will only need a R.A.T.

Our staff can advise if a P.C.R. is indicated for you.

If you have completed a R.A.T. at home and it has shown a positive result, please remember to register this on your ‘My Covid Record’ page. This will then notify public health, and also notifies your GP (although it can take a few days for your GP to receive this information).

If you are Covid-19 positive, you and everyone in your household must isolate.

If you are concerned about your general health, breathing, or have any chest pain, call IMC on 03 3516198 or Healthline on 0800-358-5453. If you need urgent medical help, call 111 and tell them you have COVID-19.

For information, support, and advice around being a COVID-19 case, visit https://covid19.health.nz/advice/positive.

Our nurses are happy to advise if you are uncertain about testing criteria, or have any questions that can’t be answered by looking at the MoH website: https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public.

We are also offering travel Covid-19 swabs, both R.A.T. and P.C.R., for enrolled patients.

Please call reception to book in for your pre-departure test.

Note: We are unable to advise the swab type or date required for travel. Please check the requirements of your destination country before booking in. P.C.R. test results take 24-48hours to return from the lab.

Rapid Antigen Testing for Covid19

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Following today’s announcement by the Ministry of Health, we expect to be offering R.A.T. testing to patients by mid next week (3rd March 22).  As at today’s date, we have not received supplies from M.O.H. for this testing.  Until we have received these supplies we will continue to booking appointments for Nasal Pharyngeal (PCR) tests.  Tests will only be available for patients who are Household contacts of a known positive case OR anyone who is Symptomatic. Please call reception to book an appointment.

Covid Vaccinations for our patients

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

We are now offering Covid Vaccination appointments to Ilam Medical Centre patients. We are only authorised to administer the pfizer vaccine. We cannot offer Astra Zeneca Covid vaccines at this practice.

Please call reception to book an appointment.

Anyone aged 12 years or over can be booked in for their 1st, 2nd, 3rd or booster vaccination. Please note the 3rd vaccination is only required for immunocompromised patients and will require a consult with your doctor first.

*Please note we will not begin vaccinating the 5-11 year aged population until mid- late March

 

For information about the vaccine please click on the link below

https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines/

 

 

 

 

Appointments under the traffic light system

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

Red settings

We encourage telephone consultations where possible but for those patients needing to be seen in the clinic they will be asked health questions related to Covid symptoms before an appointment can be made. It is very important that these questions are answered honestly.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients can be seen in the clinic but only after being triaged and a mask will be required. Any patients with a mask exemption will need to be seen outside in our Covid cabin – please let the reception team know when you make the booking.,

 

If you have been in contact with a Covid 19 case within the last 14 please DO NOT come into our building. Speak to reception about booking a telephone consultation.

Patients will need to be a minimum of 1.5 meters apart while sitting in our waiting room.  If we have too many patients waiting, you will be asked to wait outside.

 

Vaccine passes are not required for patients to enter our building as we are an essential service.

Contractors or visitors (non patients) will be required to show a vaccine pass.

 

Thank you for your co operation with these processes.