CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

As you know, World Health Organization (WHO), has declared coronavirus as a pandemic. It is affecting over 166 countries worldwide including NZ. The number of people affected by the virus is climbing up very fast. Consequently, the number of deaths from it is also rapidly going up.

By comparison, death rate from influenza virus is 0.1%, where as death rate from coronavirus is 3.4% on current figures. Therefore, coronavirus is much deadlier than the influenza virus especially in older people over 70 years of age and those with serious pre-existing illness. It can cause fatalities in any age group. Men appear to be more susceptible to the coronavirus than women.

The symptoms of coronavirus infections are cough, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath and flu like illness. The temperature is often above 38.0C. The number of cases in NZ is growing steadily as more people are tested positive for the virus. One way of containing this virus is early identification of people carrying this virus and self-isolation. People suspected of contacting the virus should be placed in isolation for at least 14 days.  It also involves general public avoiding unnecessary contacts with people. Wearing protective gear and washing hands thoroughly is very highly recommended. Such measures have shown the transmission of coronavirus reduced and contained in China. Unfortunately, Europe has become the epicenter of the virus and governments there are taking drastic measures like shutting down public places and transports. Here in NZ we are taking preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Overseas studies indicate that the best way to prevent the propagation of corona virus is self-isolation. The least contact we have with others, the better the chance of stopping the spread of this virus. As you have heard, overseas countries are taking drastic measures of self-isolation. Here, the NZ government has also advised citizens not to undertake unnecessary trips and stay home policy.

It is very important that health professionals and allied workers stay fit and well to look after the health of the nation. We want our health system to be in a robust condition to fight this illness together with you the public. We all have to play our roles on a war footing.

Like other public and primary health care providers, we at the St Johns Medical Centre have adopted the following measures to keep you safe and healthy:

  1.  As of Monday, 23/03/2020, we advise all our patients that consultations will be done through phone calls, emails and through video calls. We are hoping to have a new video call system installed by Tuesday 24th of March. Our IT people are working on it at the moment. The reason for this is that data from Italy suggests it is best for patients not to visit their doctor because of the risk of spread of the disease.
  2. Any patient with symptoms of corona virus should call the hospital for the Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC). They are geared to do proper assessment and tests. Those people who are not sure of their condition and those with flu like illness should ring the Healthline first. For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS.
  3.  We will not see random walks in unless they call the surgery first. We will limit face to face consultations to urgent cases only. Our message to you is that vast majority of conditions will be effectively dealt without you coming to the surgery.
  4. We encourage patients who have chronic medical conditions, such as respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic renal disease, over the age of 65 years, pregnant women and patients with any other long-term medical conditions to call us for flu vaccinations.

We thank you for your cooperation and understanding. The fight against coronavirus will take some time to contain it. We all have to work together and look after each other especially the elderlies and vulnerable segment of our society. Please keep tuned to advise from the government and health authorities. You can visit Ministry of Health site https://www.health.govt.nz/ for further information and instructions.

Patient Portal / ManageMyHealth

From 17th June 2019, SJMC has gone live with the ManageMyHealth Patient Portal system. Now you can manage your healthcare online with ManageMyHealth.

What Is The Patient Portal?

It is a website that allows you to access your health information online. It is easy to use and confidential.

ManageMyHealth is hosted on a secure environment in New Zealand. Similar to internet banking, your records are protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, to ensure your information is completely safe.

We rely on you to keep your password a secret and to take all reasonable measures to protect your information.

To get started please contact the surgery, SJMC.

Important Updates

Fee Changes
As you may be aware, changes have been brought in by the government to fees as of 01/12/18. There is now no charge for under 14 year olds, Community Services Card holders between 14 and 17 only pay $12.50, and adult Community Services Card holders only pay $18.50. ACC charges for Community Services Card holders have also been reduced. Please make sure that you have an up to date Community Services Card; those patients eligible for the card must apply to Work and Income NZ.

Vaccinations
Vaccination is an important part of keeping healthy and well for both children and adults. We recommend that all children receive the vaccinations as per schedule. Children should also be considered for meningococcal and BCG vaccines as appropriate. For adults the flu, HPV, shingles, pneumococcal and the tetanus booster vaccines should be considered in eligible patients. Please remember to also vaccinate as appropriate when travelling to foreign countries and for occupational health requirements, such as hepatitis vaccinations.

Ministry of Health
We have also attached a link to the Ministry of Health website where you can log in to see more information about relevant healthcare issues.

Wishing everyone a Merry Xmas and a happy New Year! Please be safe.

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a very merry xmas and a very happy new year.Please stay safe and take care.

Surgery is closed from 24th December and will open on 4th January 2017.

Thanking everyone for your support. Best wishes from us at SJMC.

Important Notices

Greetings to everyone from all the staff at St Johns Medical Centre,

Flu Vaccination
Flu vaccination will be starting soon, around late March 2016. This year the trivalent influenza vaccine consists of:
• A (H1N1): an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
• A (H3N2): an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
• B: a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus
Influenza – or the flu – is a virus that spreads quickly from person to person. Symptoms include fever, chills, aches, runny nose, a cough and stomach upset. Immunisation is your best defence against the flu.
Older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from influenza, such as pneumonia. If you’re at higher risk, it is important to see us early, to find out if you need treatment.

Eligibility criteria for FREE seasonal influenza vaccinations for 2016:
1. Pregnant women (any trimester)
2. Anyone aged 65 years or over
3. Anyone under 65 years with the following medical conditions:
Cardiovascular disease
Chronic respiratory disease
Diabetes
Chronic renal disease
Cancers
Children with certain conditions
Other conditions — please check with the surgery

Besides the seasonal Influenza vaccines, we also give other vaccines such as:
Usual childhood immunizations
HPV vaccines for females aged 12 to 21 years old for cervical cancer prevention
Varicella/Chickenpox vaccine, for chickenpox
Meningococcal vaccine for meningitis
Pneumococcal against pneumonia in susceptible patients
Boosterix for pregnant women and children at 11-12 years old
Travel vaccines
Hepatitis A and B vaccines

Zika virus
Anyone who may have exposure to Zika virus and not feeling well, please contact your doctor or hospital as soon as possible.
Zika is a virus that is spread by mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that can spread Zika virus are not normally found in New Zealand, but they are found in many countries around the world.

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to everybody.

Please remember to wear head gear and use sunblock this summer. It is also important to keep adequately hydrated.

Please call the surgery for mole checks if required.