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Information for people needing health advice or healthcare

Free GP visits and pharmacy prescriptions:

The usual fees for GP visits and pharmacy prescriptions will be waived for fire-related appointments.

Information about Wakefield Health Centre for registered patients

  • Wakefield Health Centre is closed due to the evacuation. Centre staff are workingfrom the Richmond community health hub (281 Queen St, Richmond).

  • Centre staff are working on a plan to continue to provide care for their patients during this time. 

  • Their normal phone service will be in place by Monday morning

  • They will try to contact all patients who have current appointments on Monday

  • Tapawera clinics will be running as usual

  • There will be limited services from Tuesday

  • All blood tests are available through Medlab Services

  • Please refer to the Wakefield Health Centre website and Facebook page for regular updates.


Information about Wakefield Pharmacy

From Monday 11 February Wakefield Pharmacy will be operating out of McGlashen Pharmacy. Wakefield Pharmacy pharmacist Doug is available to help you with your medication needs.

Information for people with existing medical conditions 

If you have an existing medical condition and start to develop symptoms:

  • use the medicines prescribed to you by your doctor

  • if your symptoms worsen and do not respond to their usual measures, call your General Practice or Healthline (0800 611 116). If you experience breathlessness or chest pain, call 111.


For all people needing health advice or healthcare

At any time:

  • Call the freephone Healthline on 0800 611 116

  • Call 111 for emergencies or go to Nelson Hospital ED for emergencies

On weekdays:

  • Call or visit your usual GP practice (Wakefield Health Centre patients; please refer to the information in sections 1 & 2 above) 

After-hours and on weekends:

  • Call or visit the Medical and Injury Centre (Nelson) and in Motueka (Greenwood Health or The Doctors) 

Mental health and mental wellbeing advice

Coping with stress and anxiety

Anxiety is very common during an emergency event such as an uncontrolled fire. This is a normal response to a very stressful situation. Talking to people and helping others can be both therapeutic and useful.


How to get help: If you need further support for yourself or for others:


  • Call your general practice, after-hours GP practice or Healthline on 0800 611 116

  • Free-call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor

  • in an emergency, call 111

Smoke exposure advice

  • For those closest to the fire, smoke from the fire may irritate the eyes, nose, throat and airways. These symptoms will quickly pass after you remove yourself from the smoke, with no long-term consequences. 

  • People with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or other lung disease are at greatest risk from smoke inhalation. Those with angina or other heart disease might also be more affected. You should avoid exposure if possible. If you have any of these conditions and you are being exposed to smoke you should:

  • remain indoors

  • close all the windows and doors

  • turn off ventilation, air conditioning and heating systems that draw in air from outside until the plume has dispersed or moved away, and you can no longer smell smoke.  Most heat pumps will not bring air in from outside when in cooling mode. Check the user manual for more details. Heat pumps and ventilation systems with a HEPA filter can be left on, as the filter will remove most smoke particles

  • In healthy people, most symptoms will disappear soon after the exposure to smoke has ended, without any long-term consequences. 

General advice

  • The greatest risk is to those in the path of the fire, who must follow the directions of the Emergency Services for their immediate safety.

  • Please follow the instructions of the emergency services, and keep up to date via the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence website and Facebook pages.  Turn on a radio and keep it tuned to news of the fire, or keep a news live feed open on your computer.

  • People should avoid exercising outdoors while smoke is present

  • If you are on a roof water supply and a lot of ash is falling on your roof, it might be best to disconnect the pipe to the tank, and only reconnect it after the next heavy rain (discarding the ‘first flush’), to avoid getting ash in your water supply

  • Please look out for your neighbours, especially the elderly, those in ill-health, and those who live alone

  • If you can, get a break away from the smoke by relocating to an area unaffected by the current smoke plume

  • Dust masks available from hardware stores will only screen out the largest smoke particles, so are unlikely to provide much protection

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