Kia ora tatou
Here at Counties Manukau we’re very pleased with the recent announcements on easier immigration paths for health personnel wanting to join us from overseas.
On the list are some professions we urgently need, and this should pay dividends in our hospitals and services. The availability particularly of some diagnostic people will help speed the path for those needing assessment prior to surgery or other treatments.
I’m particularly keen to see more registered nurses, nurse practitioners, MRI scanning technicians and others joining the Counties Manukau Team.
On the public health front, you may have seen the reports about an increasing number of whooping cough cases in the community.
This is worrying health staff throughout the country, and of particular concern is the low rate of whooping cough immunisation in pregnant women.
Anyone with a cough for two weeks or more, or a cough that ends with a ‘whoop’ sound or vomiting should seek medical advice – you can contact your doctor or call Healthline for free on 0800 611 116.
Importantly, if anyone has difficulty breathing, call 111 and get help immediately.
Ultimately, the best form of protection is getting vaccinated – these are available from your doctor and we strongly encourage you to protect yourself and your loved ones from whooping cough.
In preparing for the winter season it’s a good time to be thinking about the health of your whaanau and making sure they have everything they need to stay dry and warm – make sure rain jackets fit, heaters work and there are plenty of blankets for those cold winter nights ahead.
Finally, remember your flu jab. It’s free for children up to twelve, for pregnant women, Maaori and Pasifika over 55, and everyone over 65 – once again, we encourage you to get your jab and help protect yourself and your loved ones.
Covid and measles vaccines are also important.
Stay safe and well.
Dr Andrew Connolly
Chief Medical Office