Category Archives: Uncategorised

Online Appointments

Waikari Health Centre has changed to a new version of Practice Management System and unfortunately the Online Booking system we had been using is not compatible yet. We will have an integrated online booking arrangement which should be in place during this week. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience. In the meantime you will need to phone in for an appointment.

**These are now up and running – just click on the Book Now button (directly above the map) on the opening page and follow the prompts.**

Late Night

We will be offering later appointments on Thursdays from 4 April 2019. The last available routine appointment will be 6.30pm . You can book online or by phoning the receptionist. This will be an initial trial for three months.

MMR Vaccine

Stocks of MMR vaccine are not expected to arrive into Christchurch until Wednesday 13 March 2019 – it is therefore unlikely that we will have any until Thursday 14 March at the earliest. If you have called and asked to be put on the list to have the vaccine we will contact you when it has arrived.

Waikari Hand Clinic

Waikari Hand Clinic

The Kaiapoi Hand Clinic is pleased to announce the introduction of a new hand therapy and rehabilitation service at the Waikari Health Centre.

The Waikari Hand Clinic will operate every Monday from the 25th February 2019 and will be operated by Leigh Law, an experienced registered hand therapist. Leigh works as a senior hand therapist at the Kaiapoi Hand Clinic and Pegasus Medical Centre and has 23 years experience working with the assessment, diagnosis and management of injury and non injury related conditions affecting the hand, wrist, forearm and elbow.

Common conditions treated by hand therapists include sprains, strains and fractures,
osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome and post surgical rehabilitation. Referrals to specialists can be made if required.  

Patient referrals to see Leigh can be made by calling the Merivale Hand Clinic on
03 3559775.

New GP – Dr Ernesto Rodriguez de la Cruz

Waikari’s New GP:  Dr Ernesto de la Cruz   

Dr Ernesto de la Cruz grew up on the Caribbean island of Cuba, though for most of his adult life he has been living away from his birth country.

Since he was a teenager, Ernesto believed that being a Medical Doctor is one of the best ways to channel his passion to help others. In 1993 he graduated as a Doctor in Medicine from the Havana Medical University, he also met and married his wife Lisset who was doing her internship at the same University.

After a few years working as General Practitioners in several clinics in their hometown, they both decided to experience a completely different approach to Family Medicine, and 1997 saw them make the move to live and work in South Africa.

Despite working as a Doctor at a Primary Health Clinic, Ernesto had to also deal with all aspects of human health, including emergency hospital care, major surgical procedures and Anaesthesiology. While still in South Africa, 2001 saw the birth of their first son Ernesto Jr, in a rural hospital in the small country town where they both were working.

In 2002, saw their adventurous spirit rekindled and they moved to Spain, where they have been living for the past 15 years, and in 2006, Gabriel, their second son was born.

While watching a travel program on TV about New Zealand, with the beautiful vibrant landscape and kiwis outdoor way of living made them all fall in love with the country, and once again ideas were played with, a plan was hatched to investigate how they all could make the move to New Zealand.

With Ernesto working at the same practice for a number of years, with a heavy workload, the decision to actively seek a change saw the entire family plan their new venture, their move to New Zealand.

After a long and arduous process, Ernesto became registered in New Zealand, as a General Practitioner, and with the successful appointment as the GP for Waikari Health Centre, their new adventure begins.

Ernesto and his family enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Furthermore he loves music and sports,  especially football, which his two boys have been practising and playing since they were small.

Ernesto is looking forward to meeting existing patients of Waikari Health Centre and welcomes any new patients.

Flu Vaccinations

We have been advised that the Influenza vaccination is going to be released in April this year.  There is a delay because the prevalent flu strains are slightly different this year than last.  In the Northern Hemisphere this year, influenza A (H3N2) has been the predominant strain.  Immunisation is the most effective tool available to reduce the impact of influenza.


New GP – Dr Andrew Sword

Profile : Dr Andrew and Lindsay Sword

andrew-sword-image       lindsay-sword-image

Dr Andrew and Lindsay Sword are thrilled to be coming to the Hurunui District in mid-September and Andrew is excited about being the GP at Waikari for the coming year.

Andrew grew up near Alton, Hampshire in the UK where he has been working until now. He was born into a farming family and enjoyed growing up on a lovely farm in Hampshire, with which he is still involved.

Andrew was educated at Charterhouse School in Surrey (UK) and after a gap year in the United States, travelling and working in a submarine factory, he went to St Andrews University in Scotland (yes Wills and Kates) and then to the University of Manchester where he graduated in 1982. He did hospital jobs in general medicine, general surgery, paediatrics, accident and emergency and obstetrics and gynaecology in Manchester.

At that point Andrew was committed to a career in obstetrics and gynaecology and did the first part of his membership exam; however, when a job he was going to in South Africa fell through, he found himself joining a general practice team. Within a week he had fallen in love with this new path which he has now done in Alton, uninterrupted, for over 30 years. He has been a senior partner for the last five years. Andrew sees his main skills as a good all round generalist, taking a holistic and realistic view to people’s health.

One day, sitting at his desk, contemplating the next few years, he decided that he wanted an adventure so hence the trip to New Zealand. Since being accepted for the Doctors position at Waikari, Andrew and Lyndsay have been investigating all the outdoor pursuits available to them in the surrounding areas and are excited about the choices available.

Andrew married Lindsay in 1985 and they have three children: Robert, who is a musician, Alexander who is a journalist and Sophie who is a student currently working in Paris. They hope they will be coming out to see them, and that some of you will meet them.

Lindsay too has worked as a general practitioner for over 25 years; she retired from her practice earlier this year; and is keen to explore her more creative side in music and the arts and to become involved in the community at large. Andrew has absolutely no skills in music or art but loves fishing, skiing and outdoor life generally.

They are looking forward to meeting everyone.