Internationals’ health a worry
Nursing students are concerned international students are getting left behind in Southland health care system.
The Southern Institute of Technology first year nursing students highlighted the issue at the Annual Health Expo at Hansen Hall on Thursday.
Student Rhyarna Batchelor said most of the international students she had spoken to didn’t know what to do if they were sick.
‘‘One man said that if he had chest pains he would stay home, this is concerning.’’
Other students had said they didn’t know they could get cold and flu medication or basic pain killers such as paracetamol from the supermarket or chemist without seeing a doctor.
This meant there were students who would quietly suffer with their afflictions because they were concerned about the cost of visiting the doctor.
Student Sacha Molloy said most international students didn’t know what services were available to them. ’’It is complicated and depends on peoples visas and countries of origin.’’
People visiting from overseas often can not sign up to a General Practice, but they could book casual appointments or visit after hour doctors, the Southern Institute of Technology registered nurse and in an accident they could be covered by ACC.
Fellow nursing student Jacqui Anderson said healthcare was expensive for overseas visitors.
They could pay $455 to visit ED with a short stay of less than 24 hours costing $1150 and an the ambulance service costing about $800. ’’We don’t want the cost to prevent the correct care. We are trying to encourage them to, in an emergency, use the services available and call an ambulance even though they will have to pay.’’
Southland businesses and organisations, including The Southern Institute of Technology was pushing to recruit more people from overseas, she said.
‘‘We have asked them to move, it is our responsibility to look after them.’’
WellSouth chief executive Ian Macara said people needed be responsible and research how to get and where to go for healthcare before arriving in New Zealand.
He was concerned people going to the emergency department for the wrong things. ’’Ideally people shouldn’t be going to ED if they can go to a general practisioner.’’
It was everyones responsibility to make sure information about healthcare was readily available.
International student Helen Zhang, from China, learns about health services from SIT nursing student Sacha Molloy