24 Dec 2016

Greymouth Family Planning clinic to close

7:20 am on 24 December 2016

The Greymouth Family Planning clinic will close at the end of February, with a phone service to be offered in its place.

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Greymouth residents will have to use a phone service or travel further to get their sexual and reproductive healthcare when the town's clinic closes in February. Photo: 123RF

Family Planning clinics across the country offer sexual and reproductive healthcare that are free for residents under 22.

Chief executive Jackie Edmond said the Greymouth clinic was only open seven hours a week and use of its services had dropped over the past two years.

She said Family Planning was in talks with the West Coast District Health Board about ways to work together, but would definitely be offering a phone service.

"Over the phone we can do pill repeats, we can do Emergency Contraceptive Pill [prescriptions] and we can do the beginning of an abortion referral if that is required."

Jackie Edmonds said the West Coast DHB had a sexual health clinic that patients can go to, or they can see their GP.

The Nurses Organisation was not happy with the outcome.

It was disappointed at the lack of community consultation around the closure.

Nurses Organisation organiser Lynda Boyd said clients and nurses should have been consulted.

"It's a concern for us just to see a loss in services to any population," Ms Boyd said.

"But particularly to a population that doesn't have a lot of other options available to it in terms of people seeking support for their sexual health or their reproductive health."

Ms Boyd said Family Planning members had clients they had been seeing for 26 years and the clinic's closure meant there would be no consistency of care for those people.

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