Lake Surgery is short staffed

29 Apr 2022 | News

Lake Surgery is short staffed at the moment, so we're doing things a bit differently to ensure everyone gets the right medical care as soon as possible.

The nationwide shortage of doctors has found its way to Lake Surgery. We have sadly farewelled Dr Sam Hwu, who has returned home to the United States. He will be greatly missed by patients and staff. Dr Natalie Clarke is also on leave for two months for family reasons, which leaves us with two part-time doctors at the moment.

We have been trying hard to find new doctors, but unfortunately they are in short supply. We have a nurse prescriber joining the team late May, and a new GP joining us in late July.

We’ll be short staffed for the next three months, but we want you to know we’re still here for you. Part-time doctors from out of town are helping out, and virtual consults are also available.

Please don’t put off getting in touch if you’re unwell, we want everyone to get the care they need.

We’ll be doing things a bit differently to ensure you get the right medical care as soon as possible.

Here’s what you can expect

  • A doctor or nurse will discuss urgent concerns during a phone triage call to decide on the most appropriate way to meet your needs.
  • Some appointments at the medical centre are available for people who need to be seen kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face).
  • We're also booking virtual consultations, which mean you have an appointment over the phone or by video call using a smartphone or computer. If you don’t have a smartphone, device or internet, you may be able to have a virtual consultation from one of the rooms at the medical centre (bookings are essential).
  • After hours virtual consultations are available from Practice Plus, see for more information. Talk to us about getting a voucher to access the service at the same price as usual.
  • There is likely to be a longer than usual wait time for less urgent appointments, and some may need to be postponed.
  • Please order your repeat prescriptions well in advance. They will take up to 48 hours to process. If you need your medication sooner, please ask for an urgent prescription.
  • Our awesome nurses are delivering their normal services.
  • You can use the MyIndici patient portal to access your medical records, view test results, order prescriptions and send messages to our nurses. Our friendly reception team can help you get it set up.
  • The emergency department at Taupō Hospital is available for emergencies.
  • If it’s not an emergency, you can call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free 24-hour health advice or find health information at
  • You can go to a pharmacy to ask for advice on minor medical issues or health concerns.

If you know your condition is not serious or urgent, please consider waiting to make an appointment until our staffing levels increase. If you’re not sure, then give us a call.

Thanks for your understanding and patience, we’re doing our best to provide care for everyone.