Papamoa residents are calling for a 24-hour medical facility to be built in the area, and they have the support of their local MP.

Raewyn Allen has been living at Golden Sands, Papamoa Beach for three years with her husband and three children and said the local healthcare options were not enough for the growing population.

"There have been times where our kids have gotten sick and of course when they're not feeling well or if they're vomiting, we've got to get them in the car and spend 20 minutes to half an hour getting over to the A&E [accident and emergency] in Tauranga."

She said despite having "a really good doctors' up the road", which was also open on Saturdays, a centre with longer hours was needed.

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"It's great that we've also got that one in First Ave, but it's not 24 hours and people don't [only] get sick between 9am and 5pm, or even 9am and 7pm. So 24 hours is critical because if somebody is really sick or if someone's got a baby and they're really sick, trying to get them into a car and getting across town is just ridiculous. But if we had something here 24 hours, then it would make a huge difference."

Raewyn Allen says her daughter's recent leg injury highlighted for her the need for a 24 hour medical facility in Papamoa. Photo/John Borren.
Raewyn Allen says her daughter's recent leg injury highlighted for her the need for a 24 hour medical facility in Papamoa. Photo/John Borren.

Last Friday night Mrs Allen's 7-year-old daughter suffered a major injury while on a trampoline, hyper-extending her knee and doing "a whole heap of damage" in the process. She has had surgery and is due for more.

"It didn't happen in Papamoa but it could have and if it had, we could have been in a bit of bother," Mrs Allen said.

"It just kind of made us understand that it would actually be really good to have something that's open down this end."

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller said a 24-hour accident and emergency centre in Papamoa was something he campaigned on ahead of the election and wanted to progress it over the next term as a priority.

"...Or if not 24 hours, certainly extended so that the mums and dads and people who need it out there don't have to do the big trek across town if their kid's sick."

He said he has raised that as an expectation with the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and while there was a good chance of it happening over time, he could not be specific about exactly when.

It could happen as part of the Wairakei development or the Te Tumu development, Mr Muller said, but this would be determined by the people who put the money on the ground.

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"I would hope that as that gets developed, that the health practitioners and professionals see an opportunity to create a sort of a health precinct potentially in that context."

He said his job involved pushing the cause hard and raising it as an issue.

"And saying this should happen for the community and getting those who are going to be part of the solution, which is the DHB and the doctors and the developers, looking at potential opportunities for health precincts in the east."

Mr Muller said it was an issue that had been raised by his constituents.

Raewyn Allen says her daughter's recent leg injury highlighted for her the need for a 24 hour medical facility in Papamoa. Photo/John Borren.
Raewyn Allen says her daughter's recent leg injury highlighted for her the need for a 24 hour medical facility in Papamoa. Photo/John Borren.

Mount Maunganui/Papamoa Ward councillor Steve Morris also said it was a concern residents had raised with him from time to time.

"Personally speaking, it can be a long drive into Accident and Healthcare or the ED department when you're trying to get a sick child or relative in to be seen urgently."

The district health board's general manager of planning and funding, Simon Everitt, said the health board was actively engaged with local authorities and agencies regarding the future population growth across the Bay of Plenty and, specifically, growth to occur in the Te Tumu/Papamoa area.

He said that engagement included forward planning for the types and range of health services that may be needed in the region if the projected population growth occurs in the next 10 to 15 years.

"The DHB is aware that there are also a number of private parties who have expressed an interest in developing health services of this nature and the DHB will be looking to work collaboratively with them."