New Low Cost Clinic Set to Ease Student Health Wait Times

New Low Cost Clinic Set to Ease Student Health Wait Times

Turns out fatty lane feeds can’t fix your immune system

Dunedin City GP have set up a new low-cost clinic aimed at easing disparity in health outcomes for students and other (likely more deserving) groups. The change comes after Student Health wait times have lengthened to a criminal degree in recent years. 

The new centre will be a Very Low Cost Access (VLCA) Clinic and go by the name of Dunedin Community Health (DCH). Up to a quarter of Aotearoa’s current medical practices are VLCA clinics, and North D’s hopping on the bandwagon. Those going to DCH will access the same staff, location, and facilities as those at Dunedin City GP but for $15 compared to the normal $52.50. That’s a deal so good it almost puts the Radio OneCard to shame. 

Speaking to Critic Te Ārohi on behalf of the new clinic, Dr Adrian Hindes said that they will be prioritising those who live in low-income areas, and Māori and Pasifika. “If you don’t meet these criteria, the next best step is to apply for a community services card,” which most students are eligible for and gets you an appointment for $19.50.

Despite the scariness of healthcare as an adult (Mum, please help), it's crucial to note that DCH has significantly expanded the healthcare options available in Dunedin. Adrian said that students “definitely” come to Dunedin City GP due to Student Health wait times. 

“We are a family practice, but nearly 10% of our patients are university students,” Adrian told us. “We've heard many students speak about a 2-3 week wait to see a doctor at Student Health. Our wait times are currently 1-2 days. If no doctors’ appointments are available on the day, then book to see one of our nurses.”

With a recently added third doctor, there is plenty of capacity for new patients to receive affordable care amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis that’s allegedly seen food items increasingly becoming the target of burglaries. Adrian pointed out that the clinic will also function as an option for recent graduates who can no longer access Student Health but still can’t quite afford the prices of a regular GP consult (otherwise known as the ‘Buy a MedicAlert’ category of this our Dunedin Old test).

For those who are making the big bucks (above the current living wage of $26 an hour), Adrian encourages you to enrol for Dunedin City GP, knowing your market rate consultancy is financially supporting the freshers at the DCH. The clinic is located at the bottom of Pitt Street, just across from Knox Church, a distance even the dustiest breatha can make for a casual STI check.

This article first appeared in Issue 2, 2024.
Posted 4:56pm Saturday 2nd March 2024 by Gryffin Powell.