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All Services Back In Buller Health Centre From 4pm Today

Phil Wheble, Incident Controller, West Coast DHB Flood event.

From 4pm this afternoon all health services usually based in the Buller Health Centre will be relocated and up and running in the facility.

This comes after an outstanding effort from our DHB staff and a number of skilled contractors who have worked tirelessly to get the building back in a safe state for reoccupation.

When the Health Centre was evacuated due to flooding on 17 July, Club Buller in Westport became a temporary base for clinical services including an inpatient ward and acute assessment area. It also became headquarters for West Coast DHB’s Emergency Operations Centre. The Club, which enabled us to continue to provide health care will be deep cleaned, blessed and returned for its original use as a social gathering place for locals.

Special thanks to the operators of Club Buller, and to the owners of the Masonic Lodge building who have allowed us to use it as a vaccination centre, and for the past couple of weeks it became a pop-up General Practice. Our local West Coast PHO, Te Tai o Poutini also assisted with providing rooms for some consultations – thanks to everyone for being so accommodating.

Members of West Coast DHB’s WellFood team were the first to move back into the Buller Health Centre on Monday. The majority of other services moved back into the facility on Tuesday, with only clinical services and the DHB’s Emergency Operations Centre remaining at Club Buller.

The full list of services available at Buller Health from 4pm today is:

  • Buller Medical Centre - a weekend GP clinic will be offered between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday 31 July and Sunday 1 August.
  • Inpatients/Foote Ward
  • Acute Assessment
  • Maternity
  • Phlebotomy (blood testing)
  • Community mental health
  • Community services
  • District Nursing
  • Radiology
  • Hospital kitchen/Meals on Wheels
  • Monday’s Buller Sexual Health Clinic will go ahead

We currently have visitor restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of illness at all DHB facilities. We are requesting that only one person at a time comes in to visit, and that no children come in to visit our facilities. Exceptions will be made on compassionate grounds and should be discussed with the nurse in charge of the area you want to visit.

We’re recommending people wear a mask or other face covering (it can be a fabric mask or scarf but must cover your nose and mouth) when visiting family, whānau or friends at our facilities. We also ask that people visit our facilities for essential purposes only and stay home if they are unwell.

For non-urgent health care, you should call your own general practice team (Coast Medical on 03 789 5000 or Buller Medical Centre on 03 788 9277. After-hours follow the instructions to be transferred to a nurse who can provide free health advice).

If you don’t have a GP you can call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

For COVID-19 tests over the weekend please call your own GP or Healthline for advice on where to go.

COVID-19 vaccinations will resume from Tuesday 3 August at the Masonic Lodge, 51 Russell Street. This is by appointment only.

Finally, here are some useful numbers for organisations who continue to be available to provide assistance to our community:

If it’s an emergency, please call 111 – emergency services are operating

For health advice at any time

  • Talk confidentially about a meth or P-related issue or problem - 0800 METH HELP 0800 6384 4357
  • The Alcohol Drug Helpline offers support to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s drug or alcohol use 0800 787 797
  • For wellbeing support you can talk to a counsellor free of charge, call or text 1737 any time of the day or night
  • For pregnancy support and advice over the phone, please call your LMC/midwife.
  • If you have questions about your young child or baby’s health phone Plunketline on 0800 933 922 to speak to a Plunket nurse.
  • You can also visit our HealthInfo website for trusted health advice on a range of issues.
  • Buller Pharmacy in Westport, at 168 Palmerston Street is open for over the counter medications and health advice.
  • Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 – calls are answered 24/7. If you need to be seen, they will tell you what to do and where to go.

You can also call the Buller Support line 0800 768 348 to access help and advice. Call to be connected to welfare advice and support or answers to any questions you may have about the recovery efforts.

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