Quake-affected locals in Hurunui and Kaikōura urged to visit GP

Locals in Hurunui and Kaikoura affected by the November 14 earthquake are being urged to visit their GP if they are having trouble coping with everyday activities or aren't sleeping well. 

Dr Andrea Judd, GP at Kaikoura Health Te Hā o Te Ora, says it’s important that people see their GP team sooner, rather than later.

“The last thing we want is people to put off getting medical treatment, care and advice,” she said. “So don’t wait for things to get worse, make an appointment and come and have a chat.

“Christmas can be a stressful time for many people for all sorts of reasons. When you throw a severe earthquake into the mix followed by a constant stream of after-shocks, and an uncertain future, it’s understandable that some people won’t be feeling that flash," she says.

People can phone their usual medical centre after-hours if they wish to speak to a nurse who can advise them on what to do and where to go if they need urgent care.

People are also being encouraged to get in early and organise repeat prescriptions for any regular medications – particularly if they’re heading away for the holidays.

In Hurunui, all five medical centres are open as usual over the holiday period. Hurunui residents are able to pay reduced ‘quake rates’ for all earthquake-related consultations and it may be free for some.

Amuri Community Health Centre practice manager, Anne Sheard, says everyone has been impacted differently by the quakes.

“The Hurunui is a large geographical area and we’ve all been affected in different ways. For some of us it’s pretty much business as usual, while others are finding it hard to cope with everyday activities.

Our clinic is only a kilometre away from the epicentre of the 7.8 quake, and things such as road closures, isolation, concerns over anxious children, and financial issues are affecting many residents in our area.

“While four weeks on we’re no longer leading the news, for many of us ‘getting back to normal’ still seems a long way away,” she said. “More than 70 homes in our area have been red-stickered, so there’s been a lot of disruption to peoples’ lives,” Anne said.

The Hurunui General practice teams remind their patients to:
· ask for help
· stay in the present
· count the good stuff in their life.
· acknowledge how they feel.
· keep connected to family, friends and others in the community.

The five general practices in Hurunui are the Amuri Community Health Centre (based in Rotherham); Cheviot Community Health Centre; Hanmer Springs Health Centre, Waikari Health Centre and Amberley Medical Centre

All general practice visits are free at Kaikoura Health Te Hā o Te Ora, and the team of GPs and nurses are fully staffed throughout the holiday period. Phone (03) 319 3500 to make an appointment or for health advice 24/7.

Kaikoura Health GP Dr Andrea Judd is encouraging people returning to Kaikoura to check in with the medical centre.

“It’s fantastic news to hear that the coast road between Kaikoura and Christchurch is planned to re-open before Christmas,” she said. “If you’ve recently returned home to Kaikoura since the quakes, make a point of checking in at the Health Centre, so we know you’re back and can continue to take care of any health or wellbeing needs you may have,” Andrea Judd said.

“The team at Kaikoura Health thank their colleagues for their on-going support, and a massive thanks to our communities for their great hand hygiene which has seen us avoid a gastro outbreak,” Dr Andrea Judd said.

The latest health advice for Kaikoura residents can be found here