New clinic giving better access to youth sexual health services in Mid Canterbury

Youth in Mid Canterbury can now receive sexual health care from a new Youth Sexual Health Clinic.

The new service is a collaboration between Hype Youth Health Centre, Base Youth Centre, Waitaha Primary Health and local general practice staff to help improve access to sexual health care and advice. 

The service came about due to there no longer being a family planning service in the district. 

Waitaha Primary Health Performance Programme Facilitator Sian Colenutt says, they are delighted to be involved in this new service.

“We knew there was a need for sexual health services for young people in the district, therefore we didn’t hesitate to support this new service as it’s the right thing to do,” says Sian. 

“Hype Youth Health Centre co-ordinator Sheree Kershaw, was tenacious about the need to get this service up and running quickly.” 

Sheree says, sexual health is a key concern for local youth and the response to the new service has been positive with most appointment times booked. 

“It’s exciting to meet the needs of young people in our region and helping to remove the barriers, such as cost, access and hesitancy to go to your family doctor for sexual health issues,” says Sheree. 

“We are a small team who provide a youth-friendly and holistic service.” 

The clinic is open every Wednesday afternoon from 4pm to 6pm at Base Youth Centre in Ashburton. Young people can book an appointment, which is free and confidential.

The team can offer support with sexually transmissible infections, contraception, pregnancy tests and cervical screening tests.

Rakaia Medical Centre GP Dr Sue Fowlie and registered nurse Vickie Aiken are currently supporting and running the clinic with the main funder being Waitaha Primary Health. 

The service will be reassessed after six months. 

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