Pirongia 86-year-old Patricia Grierson lives alone and doesn't drive.

She relies on friends or family taking her to Te Awamutu for appointments.

But life has become a lot easier for Patricia, thanks to a new satellite doctor clinic run by Māhoe Medical.

The weekly clinic operates out of St Saviour's Anglican Church on Thursdays from 2pm to 4.30pm.


Patricia was the first patient at the clinic's opening last Thursday and says the initiative is "marvellous".

"It is most beneficial for a person like me who has given up driving," she says.

"I would usually have to ask someone if they would mind taking me to town so I could see the doctor. Now I can just waddle across the road."

The clinic has one doctor, alternating between Dr Shivam Deo and Dr Fraser Hodgson, plus an assisting nurse.

"I thought it was very professional and the doctor was understanding and kind," Patricia says.

"There are a lot of elderly people in Pirongia who will really benefit from this."

The church building on Franklin St had been adapted to create a makeshift clinic. There is a waiting room, reception and doctor's office.

Although patients can pay for their appointment and receive a prescription, medication will need to be purchased from a pharmacy in Te Awamutu.

The co-ordination of the clinic came from St Saviour's Anglican Church parish nurse Joan Macmanus.

"People have been wanting something like this for a very long time," Joan says.

"There's no public transport in Pirongia and the health shuttle doesn't come out here. It's good to utilise the church building, too, as it's such a central location."

The clinic aims to give Pirongia residents better access to healthcare and provide a convenient service.

"It will particularly benefit school children, people who can't drive or people without cars."

Māhoe Medical business manager Elaine Cooper says the clinic is pleased to be able to provide the service to Pirongia's ageing and growing population.

The clinic — which will run for three months — is a trial. There are hopes to offer it again, and to other villages, if successful.

Although it is in a church building, there are no religious influences — the service is purely clinical.

The clinic runs every Thursday 2pm-4.30pm at St Saviour's Anglican Church, Franklin St. Contact 872 9023 to book an appointment. Standard Māhoe Medical fees apply, no walk-ins.