- Written by Kathy Dyzel
- Category: Medical Centre
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Serving all of the Community
Westland Medical Centre was established in 1987 with a single doctor and has grown over the intervening years to be the major provider of primary health care to the local community.
Following an expansion of the facilities in 1999, the practice now supports a General Practitioner, four full time and a part time practice nurse. A visiting audiologist, a podiatrist, and members of the PHO Mental Health team are among those who make use of the facilities tat are available for visiting Medical and Surgical Specialists. Three full time receptionists, two part time receptionists and other clerical staff, including a practice manager, support the Practice.
The buildings and facilities are all new and custom built to meet the needs of a practice dedicated to providing the best possible service to the community. The Centre promotes ongoing medical education for all staff and includes in-house training, peer review evenings and formal and informal CME (Continuing Medical Education).
The centre is deeply involved with teaching medical and nursing students from Otago and Canterbury Universities.
Hokitika has a pharmacy, a dental practice, two physiotherapists, district nurses, an optometrist, mental health workers, alcohol and drug counselors, a public health nurse and various other ancillary staff. St John Ambulance provides the Centre with an excellent emergency medical service and is staffed by both paid and volunteer staff. The Medical Centre works closely with St John to ensure emergency training commitments are completed by both teams. The Base Hospital is 30 minutes to the north in Greymouth.
The elderly community is well supported with numerous social services available to them. Home help and health care workers are available and visit frequently. The town also has a 30 room rest home which has facilities for hospital level care if required for those residents no longer able to live at home.
Mental health services are outstanding, including well monitored community housing and easily accessible in patient and out patient services. The practice provides weekly clinics at the high school (during school terms) and visits the rest home at least weekly and additionally when there is a need. Doctors and nurses do house calls to patients unable to come to the practice rooms.