The Waitemata DHB says people who are seriously ill or injured at the Waitakere Hospital Emergency Department could be impacted if residents follow the advice of John Tamihere.
Tamihere, the CEO of Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust is urging West Aucklanders to go directly to the Waitakere Hospital A and E if they require after-hours medical attention.
The Trust will issue advertisements in the local Western Leader Newspaper tomorrow encouraging whanau to visit Waitakere Hospital after hours.
He says the $92 cost for a medical visit to an after-hours clinic is "outrageous" and is a hindrance to whānau.
However, Director Funding Waitemata DHB Dr Debbie Holdsworth says, "Waitakere residents should only present to the Waitakere Hospital Emergency Department if they have a medical emergency or are seriously ill.
Unnecessary presentations to ED will have a significant impact on the care we can provide to people who are seriously ill or injured."
The Ministry of Health has also weighed in on the issue, recommending people instead enrol with General Practitioners.
While Tamihere has pointed out the high cost of after-hours medical care is a deterrent for many families, Dr Holdsworth says, "Urgent care clinics are heavily subsidised by the DHB for community members with high needs and those over 65. Fees for community members with high needs are less than a third of that quoted in the Whānau Waipareira media release."
The Ministry of Health also says, "There are a number of other groups subsidised as part of the Auckland after hours network - including those who hold a Community Service Card (CSC) or a High User Health Card (HUHC), or live in a low income area, or are aged 65 and over and are enrolled with an Auckland GP, or are aged under 6 and are living in Auckland."
Regardless of this, Tamihere says it's a huge issue for West Auckland families and the campaign will go ahead tomorrow.
“This is a very important campaign for Waipareira advocating on behalf of the West.”