Waitakere Union Health Centre on the 23 May 2012 were very proud to join and endorse the Living Wage Campaign. Several staff and the centre manager attended the launch held at St Stephens Presbyterian Church in Ponsonby where we officially signed up and became members.
As a Union Clinic we decided as a team, along with our Directors, that as part of the Living Wage campaign we would offer FREE GP consultations for ALL union members and their immediate families, as well as 65+ age group and children. Our philosophy at Waitakere Union Health Centre fits perfectly with the Living Wage campaign to fight poverty and inequality in Aotearoa. Too often healthcare is seen by our working families as an expensive “extra” – going free for children, the elderly and union members allows immediate access to healthcare, without the cost barrier.
Waitakere Union Health Centre is located on the grounds of Waitakere Hospital on Lincoln Rd in Henderson. We have free parking for our patients, and our doctors and nurses are experienced and committed to high quality care. We provide ACC services, general medical care, sexual health services, vaccination and well person checks.
Since the 23rd of May, we have had wonderful feedback from our patients. The Hauraki whanau, pictured (to the right – or left), are really pleased we have gone free, as they frequently came in with their children (who have always been free), but found that the adults didn’t come due to the cost. Kris also says “it’s a great way to keep the unions together, we love it!”.
Other patients have given positive feedback also:
“now I can spend that money on my prescriptions, instead of not getting them!”
“great to have the extra money, now I can spend it on the children”
“sometimes work gets me down, and now I have somewhere to talk about it”
“fantastic service and so good that it includes my husband”
One of our reception staff, Peggy Samson, has been at the front line of the change to Free, and says “people are blown away at having access to a doctor for free, they can come to the doctor when they need to and don’t need to get money together”.
Since launching the Free programme, we have had lots of new enrolments, which show that the service is well appreciated. Our medical staff have noticed more and more that our patients struggle with the costs of healthcare and are going as far as deciding between which medications to get from the chemist. Our doctors and nurses are passionate about improving health for our patients, and making visits free, has been fantastic.