Monday, 05 February 2024 13:55

$2m package for cyclone-impacted Hawke's Bay

Written by  Staff Reporters

Health New Zealand Hawke's Bay (Te Whatu Ora Te Matau a Māui) has launched a $2m wellbeing package, including seven free counselling sessions and online doctor consults for Hawke’s Bay residents affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Te Whatu Ora Cyclone Gabrielle recovery manager Pania Shingleton says the package also includes pharmacy treatments and the traditional Māori healing practice of rongoā.

“Last year was challenging for many in our community, and we want to get 2024 off to a more positive start,” says Shingleton.

Further healthcare help is being offered to those displaced in category one, two or three and all Wairoa residents – two free GP and nurse visits, and a free after-hours emergency consultation.

“We are wanting to ensure this package is effective in helping people where it is needed, with a range of options to ensure people are able to look after their health and wellbeing,” says Shingleton.

Funding has also been allocated to five Māori Health providers to facilitate people accessing Practice Plus, an online doctor service, giving people a place in the community to ask for help.

These providers are helping people book appointments on the Practice Plus app, including people who are not enrolled with a doctor.

“We know accessing healthcare is a barrier to some people in our community,” says Shingleton. “The sooner they see someone, the more positive their health outcomes are, which is why we worked this into our funding.”

“We urge people to contact their GP if they need someone to talk to,” she says.

“Please don’t be shy to reach out to get help. We don’t want anyone to miss out.”

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