29 Nov 2009

New health centre for Lower Hutt to meet demand

10:20 am on 29 November 2009

A general practice is to open in Lower Hutt early next year to accommodate a growing number of residents who are unable to see a local family doctor.

The Hutt Valley District Health Board says the situation has occurred as doctors have closed their books to new patients.

It says about 2000 people unable to find a GP are on the DHB's register.

DHB acting chief executive Michael Hundleby says people have had to see doctors after hours or as casual patients at a higher cost, or attend the hospital's emergency department.

The Hutt City Health Centre is scheduled to open no later than 1 April, but is taking pre-enrolments and may open sooner, depending on demand.

The DHB says the practice's local family doctor, Philip Harrison, will enrol anyone within the Hutt Valley who does not currently have a GP.