Wanaka Medical was established in 1980 after being a “special area practice” with a sole practitioner for many years prior to this. We have always been a rural general practice as well as an accident and emergency centre for locals and visitors to the area.
In 2011 we moved from our buildings in Russell Street to the Wanaka Lakes Health Centre, a purpose built health care facility on Cardrona Valley Road. Our premises are now easily accessible, with full facilities for the disabled and there is ample parking.
We now share the after hours, weekend and public holiday work with Aspiring Medical Centre. We alternate week nights and weekends and there is a doctor available 24 hours.
We have seven permanent doctors, each with different work schedules so there should be an appointment available to suit you. To see the doctor of your choice, please give plenty of notice. We do make house calls and visits to Elmslie House, our local rest home.
Our local hospital is Dunstan Hospital at Clyde, one hour away by car. This hospital does not have an emergency department so all accident and emergency work is attended to at the medical centres in Wanaka. Patients are then transported to Dunstan or Dunedin hospitals if necessary.
We have a commitment as a teaching practice for medical and nursing students, post graduate trainees and registrars as well as providing continuing medical education for our own staff.
We are committed to not only treating those who are unwell or injured but also to keeping people well. We endeavour to provide a high standard of services focusing on health and wellness.
In the future we will continue to focus on initiatives that provide improvements in healthcare. Our nurses are developing roles of managing long term health conditions in the community. We aim to deliver this with closer co-operation between primary, hospital level services and the PHO. We want to educate, encourage and support our patients to achieve healthy lifestyles and live healthy lives.
Our patients are from the local area including Wanaka, Luggate, Albert Town, Hawea, Makarora, Cardrona and Mt Barker. Many of our patients therefore, travel a long way to attend their appointments and the timing of these visits is important for their return travel.
The local people are a mix of all ages from children to a large proportion of retired folk. The majority are financially independent but we do encourage those who are eligible, to have Community Service Cards, High Use Cards or to enrol in the Care Plus Programme.
Many of the visitors have different needs and expectations to our local patients. They come from all over the world including travelling New Zealanders and international travellers, many of whom do not speak English. We have a Japanese interpreting service available.
The groups of visitors differ with the seasons. There are many holiday makers here over the summer period enjoying lake activities, sun, the outdoors and the holiday social life. In winter, we have seasonal workers and many visitors to the snow fields and those enjoying the winter social life.
As a rural community, our nearest hospital, Dunstan Hospital, is one hour away. Dunedin Hospital is three and a half hours away. If available, we have access to a rescue helicopter if the weather allows. There are also many other health services with which we have functional relationships.