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In this issue...
  • Measles risk still growing - please vaccinate
  • New online booking system experiencing some glitches - please advise Reception
  • Online self-access to blood results
  • Make sure you register for the new "Patient Portal

and this month Dr Ric writes the second of two articles about 

the importance of sleep

 September 2019 News

A warm welcome to the Millhouse Community and to other readers. In the August 2019 newsletter I expressed concern about the measles epidemic, which has reached a new high with 1348 notified occurrences, as at 20 September, of the disease this year. South Auckland has the highest number of cases in New Zealand, predominantly affecting Pacifica and Maori, but East Auckland has not been exempt from the disease. The Ministry of Health's priority is to have all children vaccinated on schedule, especially those under four, but also young people between 15-29 years, who have been most affected during the measles outbreak.
Please don't send your children to school or pre-school when they are unwell, as they may communicate disease to others, and are more susceptible to infection. Keep them at home until they recover. Make sure they have quality sleep and eat wholesome food. Consider supplementing with zinc, vitamin A, D & C to improve resistance, and avoid high sugar food and drinks which lower immune response and increase vulnerability to illness.

MILLHOUSE NEWS  - please vaccinate to avoid serious illness

Last Saturday I attended the East Health PHO symposium for primary healthcare at the Waipuna Conference Centre. I listened intently as midwife Linda Williams told how Alijah, their youngest unvaccinated son, was taken to Starship Hospital in 2012 suffering convulsive spasms every few minutes, arching his back, and biting his bleeding tongue with face muscles contracted and his jaw tightly closed. He was suffering from lockjaw, which we know as tetanus, caused by the bacteria clostridium tetani. He was admitted to intensive care, placed on life support and over many months finally recovered. In the last two decades there have been more than 30 cases of tetanus in New Zealand. Two elderly people died. Tetanus is a condition prevented by vaccination.
A photo from the Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington shows that during Christmas 1876, five infant children of the Duff family died within in a few days of each other from diphtheria. Diphtheria is a vaccine-prevented acute disease, along with tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, whooping cough and hepatitis B. With increasing overcrowding, poor nutrition, air travel contagion and reduced vaccination, we are now experiencing the return of serious acute infectious illnesses, which can be fatal, and have a huge cost to the health system. Please talk to the medical team, who are willing to dialogue with you about the importance of preventative vaccination for children who are not immunised. 

How have you found the new on-line booking system? I know a few booked on-line, received email confirmation but found when they came to Reception, their clinic booking was not on the doctor's appointment screen. If this happens, your doctor will still see you. We are investigating why this occurred. Please let us know if you are experiencing any other problems

From August 2019 all new results can be viewed on-line, but you will need to register with Reception and receive an activation code to access your on-line results. Hopefully, we will soon extend the on-line access to earlier blood results and clinical records.  
Once the new patient portal is up and running, we will no longer email all laboratory results, as we do now, since they will be available, with added doctor comments, through the ManageMyHealth patient portal at any time. However we will continue to contact you immediately if we have any concerns. 


This month's theme - Part Two on the importance of sleep.

While on holiday, Dr Ric read about the "Silent Epidemic" of sleep deprivation. Last newsletter he introduced some of the science of human sleep and the daily rhythms our bodies need to function. This month he offers advice for maintaining healthy sleep. Sleep is essential for health and lacking sleep is like an accumulating debt which has ongoing adverse mental and physical effects on health increasing the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Insomnia can be triggered by emotional factors, medical issues  and environmental influences, which include bright lights, raised room temperature, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. However psychological distress is the main culprit.....pills can help, but Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia, using  a mobile app, seems the better option.

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 Want to read other articles by Dr Ric and the team?

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Yours in good health 

Dr Ric Coleman and the Millhouse Team


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