Health clinics here for Vietnam War veterans

At Gisborne Hospital and Te Whare Hauora in Te Puia.

At Gisborne Hospital and Te Whare Hauora in Te Puia.

Health assessment clinics will be held this week at Gisborne Hospital and Te Whare Hauora in Te Puia for Vietnam War veterans.

The clinics, on Friday and Saturday, were arranged after Veterans Affairs conducted a community forum here last year.

Hauora Tairawhiti chief executive Jim Green said they were pleased to support Veterans Affairs with the clinics.

“The voice of the veterans was effective in planning for the services to be provided.

“Veterans Affairs specifically came to Tairawhiti to hear from veterans and based the new service on feedback they received from around the country.

“This was supported by the Government with additional funding to meet the needs of this special and significant group in our community.”

Debbie Barrow, Hauora Tairawhiti clinical care manager, medical and mental health, said a physician employed at Gisborne Hospital had a special interest in the health of older people.

“He is supported by a visiting psycho geriatrician who visits for two days a month from Napier to work with the mental health for older peoples team.”

“Hauora Tairawhiti is looking to improve older people’s access to services.

“The health of older people service review has recently been completed.

“ We are working with Ngati Porou Hauora to look at how we can better provide mental health services for older people living on the East Coast.”

A Veterans’ Affairs spokesman said any Vietnam War veteran who had not been contacted was welcome to call on 0800 483 8372.

The clinics were an opportunity to provide some services not readily available in the area, and to undertaking needs assessments for any additional services veterans might require.

“Often there is difficulty for veterans to access services because of geographical isolation and travel difficulties.

“An audiologist and podiatrist will assist with the clinic.

“Our team comprises two case managers, a rehabilitation specialist and a senior project co-ordinator.”

The spokesman said Veterans Affairs had not previously provided such clinics.

“Veterans Affairs is constantly making needs assessments for their clients but there are no plans to extend this service to other areas.

“We have been offered great support from Hauora Tairawhiti and Ngati Porou Hauora, which have offered facilities to hold the clinics.

“We have also been offered help from the Ngati Porou Hauora Charitable Trust.

“Any cost incurred by these groups will be funded from Veterans Affairs.

“Local veteran support networks have helped co-ordinate arrangements with the veteran community.”

Rev Wally Te Ua, secretary of Tairawhiti Veterans of the Vietnam War Association, said they lobbied Veterans Affairs to “take up this challenge on behalf of the district’s frail and elderly veterans” because the region was the only one without a resident specialist geriatrician.

Health assessment clinics will be held this week at Gisborne Hospital and Te Whare Hauora in Te Puia for Vietnam War veterans.

The clinics, on Friday and Saturday, were arranged after Veterans Affairs conducted a community forum here last year.

Hauora Tairawhiti chief executive Jim Green said they were pleased to support Veterans Affairs with the clinics.

“The voice of the veterans was effective in planning for the services to be provided.

“Veterans Affairs specifically came to Tairawhiti to hear from veterans and based the new service on feedback they received from around the country.

“This was supported by the Government with additional funding to meet the needs of this special and significant group in our community.”

Debbie Barrow, Hauora Tairawhiti clinical care manager, medical and mental health, said a physician employed at Gisborne Hospital had a special interest in the health of older people.

“He is supported by a visiting psycho geriatrician who visits for two days a month from Napier to work with the mental health for older peoples team.”

“Hauora Tairawhiti is looking to improve older people’s access to services.

“The health of older people service review has recently been completed.

“ We are working with Ngati Porou Hauora to look at how we can better provide mental health services for older people living on the East Coast.”

A Veterans’ Affairs spokesman said any Vietnam War veteran who had not been contacted was welcome to call on 0800 483 8372.

The clinics were an opportunity to provide some services not readily available in the area, and to undertaking needs assessments for any additional services veterans might require.

“Often there is difficulty for veterans to access services because of geographical isolation and travel difficulties.

“An audiologist and podiatrist will assist with the clinic.

“Our team comprises two case managers, a rehabilitation specialist and a senior project co-ordinator.”

The spokesman said Veterans Affairs had not previously provided such clinics.

“Veterans Affairs is constantly making needs assessments for their clients but there are no plans to extend this service to other areas.

“We have been offered great support from Hauora Tairawhiti and Ngati Porou Hauora, which have offered facilities to hold the clinics.

“We have also been offered help from the Ngati Porou Hauora Charitable Trust.

“Any cost incurred by these groups will be funded from Veterans Affairs.

“Local veteran support networks have helped co-ordinate arrangements with the veteran community.”

Rev Wally Te Ua, secretary of Tairawhiti Veterans of the Vietnam War Association, said they lobbied Veterans Affairs to “take up this challenge on behalf of the district’s frail and elderly veterans” because the region was the only one without a resident specialist geriatrician.

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