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Test drive . . . Steve Lamb and his daughter Isla Lamb (4), of Oamaru, have a seat in the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

When Bruce Jamieson came to Oamaru for the hospital’s community open day, he was looking forward to checking out all of the services on offer.

Instead, he ended up experiencing some of them first hand.

The father of Waitaki District Health Services chief executive Phil Jamieson arrived in Oamaru from Christchurch on Friday. When Phil returned home from work at the hospital, he found his father in terrible pain and took him to the emergency department.

Tests and CT scans revealed Bruce had kidney stones and, after spending the night in hospital, he was discharged the next day.

“I expected to experience [the open day], not be in it,” Bruce said.

He was full of praise for the medical staff who looked after him.

“The staff were magnificent, incredible – there’s an incredible amount of respect between them.”

Phil described the event as “medical tourism” and said his father was recovering well.

Hundreds of people attended Oamaru Hospital’s first open day, which aimed to connect the community with its healthcare services

“It’s been invaluable for people to see their hospital, and for us it’s about meeting people because often people come in at a vulnerable point, and this is an opportunity to normalise the hospital,” Phil said.

“We wouldn’t have a hospital without the community.”

Nurses set up stations testing people’s blood-sugar levels, checking pulses, demonstrating how to correctly administer bandages and showing how many germs were left on people’s hands under a UV light.

The Stroke Foundation of New Zealand tested blood pressure, occupational therapists and physiotherapists demonstrated movement difficulties, and the Women’s Health Bus and Age Concern also provided information.

The Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter, St John and Fire and Emergency New Zealand were on site throughout the day, and the Pasifika community was represented.

It was an opportunity to show the community agencies that worked together and understand the communities health needs, he said.

North Otago community stroke adviser Debbie Huls was “flat-out” testing people’s’ blood pressure.

“It’s been really beneficial – people have really really appreciated it,” she said.

Women’s Health Bus nurse practitioner Emma Macfarlane said it was a great day out for “Betty the bus”.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I’ve pretty much been busy talking to people since the start – I’ve loved being a part of it.”

Pasifika health care assistant Uinta Tapaatoutai said it was an important experience for her patients to see more of the hospital.

“They get to see what goes on behind closed doors – they get to see the other services for their community,” Mrs Tapaatoutai said.short url linkShop: Nike