NHB visits Mount Wellington Integrated Family Health Centre
National Health Board members visited the Mount Wellington Integrated Family Health Centre (IFHC) in Auckland last week to see the benefits of better, sooner, more convenient care first hand.The Mt Wellington Centre has been set up around an existing GP medical centre. The services being developed at the IFHC include specialist clinics, facilities for minor surgery, walk in nurse services and allied health care support services such as radiology, physiotherapy, laboratory services, a dental clinic and a pharmacy. These are complemented by a range of community outreach services.
Mt Wellington IFHC clinical director Dr Joe Williams told the Board that the Centre had been developed as a result of the Government's Better, Sooner, More Convenient health care strategy.
"At the heart of this strategy is recognition of the particular health problems, which affect families, individual patients, the community, and the need to access health care from a comprehensive one stop shop type of health care complex.
"The Centre delivers services at a location that is more convenient and more accessible for all patients and their families.
"Mt Wellington IFHC has been designed to meet the particular requirements of the many high needs families and individuals, and to facilitate access to essential services such as Work and Income New Zealand, housing, education, employment, specialist clinics and allied support services.
"The Centre is designed around the needs of the patient, providing all the primary care services they need under one roof.
"It is all about addressing the barriers to care. Patient access depends on a lot of things such as transport and time away from work. By having all our facilities under one roof we can save patients a lot of time and make it easier for them to get the heath care they need.
"For instance our nurse led clinics will take cervical smears without an appointment and we will encourage patients here for other purposes to take advantage of this service," says Dr Williams.
Funding for the Centre has come through fundraising efforts, community grants, partner businesses and from the Ministry of Health's Pacific Provider Development Fund.