Nelson Marlborough Health News and Notices

The new health system announcements

On 21 April Ministers Hon Andrew Little, Hon Peeni Henare and Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall announced the Government’s response to the Health and Disability System Review. 

To summarise the decisions:

  1. all DHBs will be replaced by one national organisation, Health NZ, from 1 July 2022, when DHB employees will transfer to the new organisation
  2. A new Māori Health Authority will have the power to commission health services, monitor the state of Māori health and develop policy
  3. A new Public Health Agency will be created within Health New Zealand
  4. A strengthened Ministry of Health will monitor performance and advise Government

Nelson Marlborough Health Chief Executive Lexie O'Shea has offered a response to the announcements. This includes the assurance to our community that community, primary and secondary health and disability services continue, now and in the future under the Government’s reform plan where DHB employees transfer to the new agency, Health New Zealand, on 1 July 2022.

 


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COVID-19 vaccination update: Looking towards Group 3

More than 10,000 people have received their first of two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in the Nelson Marlborough region.

Approximately 2,440 of these were provided in the last week, as vaccination teams from Nelson Marlborough Health, Te Piki Oranga, Nelson Bays Primary Health Organisation and Marlborough Primary Health Organisation start to increase efforts in line with the national roll-out plan. Of note, 160 kaumatua were vaccinated at a kaumatua clinic on 17 April, and more kaumatua were vaccinated at Waikawa Marae on 15 April. Vaccination has been provided at nine aged care facilities to date, with more scheduled.

Kaumatua and aged care facility residents are Group 2 members. The current focus is on completing vaccination for Group 1 members and offering it to more Group 2 members. This month we started to offer occasional vaccination to Group 3 members who are aged 65 years and older. Vaccines are offered by appointment and when spaces come up, we offer them first to Group 2 members so that the vaccine doesn't expire and is wasted. People can't always come to an appointment at short notice however, which is why we are offering bookings to these Group 3 members.


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Free 'flu vaccination is now available for people aged 65+

Influenza (the flu) can be a serious and sometimes fatal illness.

Infection with the influenza virus may lead to a stay in hospital for any age group but particularly if you are elderly or have an ongoing medical condition.

Even if you do not end up in hospital, influenza can keep you in bed for a week or more. This is why flu vaccination is free for people aged 65 and older, from 14 April, from your GP, medical centre nurse or Māori health provider. 

From mid-May the vaccine will also be free for: 

  • pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)
  • children aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness
  • people under 65 years with any of the medical conditions listed on this webpage

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COVID-19 vaccination update: 5,000+ vaccinated to date

Almost 6,000 people have received their first of two COVID-19 vaccine doses.

On 1 March we started to vaccinate Group 1 members – border workers (ports) and the people they live with. On 10 March we started to vaccinate Group 2 members – high-risk frontline health workers such as those who work in emergency departments, intensive care units, outpatient departments, maternity wards, mental health wards, laboratories and aged residential care facilities. We’ve also invited support staff such as orderlies, clinical administrators, facilities staff and cleaners who work in these areas. 

In the week starting 29 March we started offering vaccination to people who live in community environments where there's a higher risk of COVID-19 spreading. This includes aged residential care facility residents and older Māori and Pasifika people who are cared for by their whānau.

In April we started to offer occasional vaccination to Group 3 members who are aged 65 years and older. Vaccines are offered by appointment and when spaces come up, we offer them first to Group 2 members so that the vaccine doesn't expire and is wasted. People can't always come to an appointment at short notice however, which is why we are offering bookings to people aged 65+ (Group 3).


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Public lecture: The COVID-19 pandemic - lessons learned and planning for the next time

Members of the public are invited to the inaugural lecture hosted by the University of Otago, Nelson Marlborough Health, and the Care Foundation. The lecture is on Monday 19 April 2021, 5:30pm for 6:00pm start, at The Suter Gallery, 208 Bridge Street, Nelson. Alternatively, you can join via livestream from the Arthur Wicks Building, Wairau Hospital or via webinar link. If you would like to attend, please register for the event.


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Group 2 COVID-19 vaccination continues this week

More than 2,573 people have received their first of two COVID-19 vaccine doses, since vaccinations started on 1 March.

This week specially-trained vaccinators continue to vaccinate Group 1 (eg port workers) and Group 2 health and disability workers.

They will also start offering it to Group 2 people who live in community environments where there's a higher risk of COVID-19 spreading. This includes aged residential care facility residents and older Māori and Pasifika people who are cared for by their whānau.


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Nelson Marlborough Health District Board Meeting 23 March 2021

Members of the public are welcome to attend the following Nelson Marlborough District Health Board meeting to be held Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 12.30pm, Meeting Room, Picton Yacht Club Hotel, 25 Waikawa Road, Picton.


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NMH Annual Report 2019/20

The NMH Annual Report 2019/20 has now been published online. The Nelson Marlborough Health Annual Report describes how the DHB has performed over the last year and how we account for the public money we spend.


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Food safety warning: Cook raw mussels before eating

New Zealand Food Safety is warning consumers to thoroughly cook mussels before eating following two people reportedly becoming sick from Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the Nelson-Tasman region. 

People with low immunity, pregnant, or elderly should avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish as the illness can be more severe.


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Nelson port workers roll up their sleeves for their vaccine

Nelson Bays Primary Health, Nelson Marlborough Health and Port Nelson workers were the first in the region to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on 1 March. 

For the two port workers who had their photo taken for media, it was just 'part of the job' and 'the right thing to do'. The vaccination programme for Port Marlborough workers starts on Wednesday 3 March.

Read the Stuff news story about the event here.

Read Nelson Marlborough Health's press release here.

Read the full story to see photos from Port Nelson and what people had to say about the day.


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