Mobile health care clinics set for whānau Māori

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Te Whānau o Waipareira is trialling pop-up container health clinics that can take services into Māori communities in west Auckland. The three clinics arrived at the "Whānau Centre” this morning in Henderson, and were blessed with prayer and song. 

Chief Executive of the trust, John Tmaihere says that they have learned during lockdown that a “drive-through” type health care service was effective, and hopes that success continues with these mobile services.

“We don’t want t go back to a pre-COVID world where there are ques all over the place and getting our ticket clipped all the time.

“We just want to drive access to good health into our communities - health care by warrant of fitness rather than urgency and emergency care, and we don’t want our people to be fearful of costs and follow up treatments,” says Tamihere.

The clinics will be going to kōhanga and wharekura, spending up to a week in each area before moving on. They will be manned by qualified nurse practitioners or paramedics who have been certified to take blood tests, provide vaccinations and dispense medicine.

Tamihere says this is part of a fulfilment of a dream that goes back three decades. 

“30 years ago we used to meet over in Ratanui street in a little broken-down place and these dreams were had then.

“We now have the skill and the capacity to bring these dreams to fruition and it’s quite touching to open things like this on mornings like this because it takes you back.”

The mobile clinics will go out to the communities next week.