A Waihī healthcare provider is copping flack from patients who are frustrated that their local doctors can't yet administer Covid vaccines.
It comes as New Zealand's vaccines rollout moves into its fourth and final stage tomorrow, with general practices and pharmacies quickly being trained to administer the Pfizer jab.
In many areas, healthcare providers with more vulnerable populations were given approval to vaccinate their patients earlier, such as in South Auckland.
However, it appeared patients of the Waihi Health Centre in the Hauraki District town were getting fed up with waiting.
Centre practice manager Rangi Honey said her staff were getting daily phone calls from frustrated patients wanting to be vaccinated by their local doctors.
"Every day, my team receive quite negative and abusive phone calls, which is really hard on them, they're only human."
However, Honey wasn't blaming her patients - she empathised with their plight of having to travel hours to get vaccinated while people in other regions could get the jab from their GP.
Honey first expressed interest in administering vaccines in March, in spite of the stress it would put on resources and staff. In June, she was told the centre wouldn't receive its first batch until the first week of August.
Since then, Honey claimed she'd hadn't had much more information from the Waikato District Health Board or the centre's primary healthcare organisation - the Waikato branch National Hauora Coalition.
Coalition primary care network leader Jonathan Murray confirmed the Waihī provider would be able to start vaccinating patients next week.
While he understood patients' desire to get the vaccine, Murray said any abuse against staff wouldn't be tolerated.
Waikato DHB Covid vaccination programme lead Maree Munro said it was always disappointing to hear of health workers being abused.
"While it is good that people are keen to be vaccinated, we do ask that people be patient as we work through an equitable process to ensure everyone has access."
Auckland GP Dr Nicholas Cooper told the NZ Herald a significant number of his patients - some in the country's second priority group for the vaccine - had refused requests to make a booking as they wanted to be immunised by their GP.
Similar to Honey, Cooper had confirmed his interest in administering Covid vaccines in March, but he hadn't be contacted about when he could offer it to his patients.
In Auckland as at last week, 41 practices were vaccinating with another 78 in the process of being brought on to the region's rollout plan.
The nearest vaccination centres for Waihi residents included sites in Hamilton and Ngaruawahia, both more than an hour away.
From this week, centres in Matamata, Thames, Morrinsville, Cambridge and Te Awamutu would be opened.
The Waihi Health Centre cared for more than 4000 patients, which comprised of a high rural, elderly population with a roughly even split of Māori and Pākehā.
Honey hoped communication could be improved between the ministry, DHBs and medical centres, so staff could give their patients more useful information.
On Saturday, Waihi Family Doctors began administering vaccines to people including those over 65 years old or with chronic health conditions.
"I'm eager to get the first couple under our belt and rotate the staff through so we are all confident," centre manager Raewyn Norman said.
Norman said her staff hadn't experienced abuse from their patients and believed the PHO had been excellent in its communication regarding plans for the vaccine rollout.
Norman advised any practices without vaccines to talk with their DHB or primary healthcare organisation.
Before vaccinations were up and running in Waihi, residents were forced to travel if they wanted protection from the virus.
Catherine Power, from Auckland, travelled to Waihi on Sunday to take four family friends - all in their 70s and 80s - to get their first jabs in Hamilton.
Power, who was fully vaccinated, believed older people who weren't as tech-savvy were disadvantaged by what she described as a complex and drawn out booking process.
Last week, Power estimated their round trip to and from Hamilton would take about four hours, which conveyed the importance of bringing GPs aboard the vaccine rollout.
"To ask an 80-year-old to [travel that far], I don't think that's right.
"Outside of the main centres, GPs should absolutely have the ability to vaccinate their patients."
As of last week, 11 GP practices and two pharmacies in the Waikato DHB area are vaccinating currently, with another 54 practices and 25 pharmacies to come onboard in the coming weeks.
In the nearby Bay of Plenty DHB - which covered the Waihi Beach area - 13 general practices had expressed interest in administering vaccines, including the Waihi Beach Medical Centre.
Bay of Plenty DHB Covid-19 incident controller Trevor Richardson was hopeful the majority of practices would be able to offer the jab to eligible patients by the end of August.
The Ministry of Health was asked how many GPs nationwide were vaccinating people currently, but it could not respond before deadline.
Tomorrow, the much-anticipated general public vaccine rollout will begin for people aged 60 and over, who will be able to book their appointment through the national Book My Vaccine system.
Kiwis 55 and over could book from August 11, while those 45 and older should be able to book from mid-to-late August.