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Doctors appointments a waiting game

Wairarapa’s doctor shortage continues to bite, with patients told they could be waiting for up to two months to get an appointment.

Patients enrolled at Masterton’s Whaiora have been advised that they may not see their general practitioner until early February.

In a social media post, Whaiora apologised for the delays.

“We’re so sorry about the wait time to see your doctor or nurse right now.

“We want you to know that we are working as hard as we can to give you the care you deserve.

“Right now, the next available appointment to see the doctor or nurse practitioner is in early February 2023.”

Whaiora advised that patients who needed a doctor’s appointment should call the centre and see if other arrangements could be made.

“We may be able to help you over the phone, connect you with a doctor via video, or find another suitable option.”

Wairarapa Hospital emergency department head Dr Norman Grey said overflow from general practice consistently wound up in ED.

“When people can’t see their doctor, they come to us – that’s part of what an ED does.

“But I can’t say I’ve been seeing an increase – it’s been steady for a while.”

In July, the Times-Age reported that only one medical clinic in Wairarapa was accepting new patients.

A survey of doctors publishd that same month found more than 99 per cent of respondents believed New Zealand was in a health workforce crisis.

Whaiora was contacted but could not be reached for further comment.

George Shiers
George Shiers
George Shiers is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age interested in politics and social issues. He reports regularly on a range of topics including infrastructure, housing, and transport. George is also the Tararua reporter and helps cover police, fire and court stories.

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