Press Release: Oceania Media
New integrated Pacific health facility opens in Christchurch four years after Earthquake
A new integrated Pacific health facility officially opened in Christchurch on Friday 8 May, launched by Pacific Trust Canterbury (PTC). The clinic will cater to the growing needs of the Pacific population of Canterbury, with double the capacity of the pre-quake clinic.
Opening with the support of the Ministry of Health and Canterbury DHB, the new clinic will double capacity (5,000) and allow Pacific Trust Canterbury to serve a growing Pacific population with an increasing demand for culturally appropriate primary health and wrap-around services. This is in line with the Government’s policy to deliver appropriate health services better, sooner and more conveniently.
The clinic is a Very Low Cost Access (VLCA)clinic and is free to those aged under-18. Key features include more consult rooms, triage areas for nurses and doctors, the ability to deliver wrap-around services from the same organisation and general increased capacity. The clinic will operate as a Pacific health hub for community and allow the Trust to address the complex issues of Pacific families.
In attendance at the launch were Hon. Nicky Wagner, Minister for Customs, for Disability and Assoc Min for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and Conservation, the main guest speaker, Establishment Chair of PTC Dr Teariki Maoate, current Chair Tanya McCall, Hon. Poto Williams, Hon. Alfred Ngaro, Ministry of Health representative Matafanua Hilda Fa’asalele, and members of Lomipeau, the South Island Pacific Providers Collective which PTC is lead provider.
Hon. Nicky Wagner says the concept of ‘by Pacific for Pacific is integral to the overall healthcare needs of Pacific People.
“The extended Pacific Health Clinic will provide improved capacity for our local Pacific community, and demonstrates the government’s commitment to improving access to services for our Pacific people,” she says.
PTC is the South Island’s largest provider of Pacific primary health, social and community wrap-around services. The clinic has been in the making for over four years. Prior to the February 2011 Earthquake, PTC operated a Pacific Health Clinic in Worcester Street with a capacity of 2,500 patients. The premises were completely destroyed in the quake and a temporary clinic has been operating out of 177 Montreal Street since August 2011 with limited capacity and closed books.
PTC Chief Executive Tony Fakahau says its services are a response to meet the needs of our community. “They have told us what they need,” he says.
“Our new premises give us the ability to address the issues of our families by providing multiple streams of care while giving people a sense of belonging with our warm, Pacific approach. No one else in the region provides Pacific services like we do.”
With the Pacific population anticipated to grow over the next few years, along with other ethnic groups, Pacific Trust Canterbury knows it needs to be prepared.
“The opening of the new clinic is a major milestone for us – it is a dream that’s taken a long time to realise.”