Community health provider calls for urgent rethink on rural health: ‘Issues need to be addressed now’
From local democracy reporter Adam Burns:
A Canterbury community health service provider believes the Government is ignoring rural healthcare inequities despite problems continuing to be voiced “loud and clear”.
Concerns continue to mount around the omission of rural communities within the Government's health reform roll-out, which has dismayed rural health leaders.
The Pae Ora Healthy Futures Bill was recently considered at a parliamentary select committee and did not list rural people as a priority population group.
Canterbury health service agency Waitaha Primary Health said rural health outcomes trail those of national urban populations and the outcomes are even worse for Māori.
Chief executive Bill Eschenbach called upon the Government to prioritise rural health in the planned legislation and to urgently address problems rural communities were facing.
“These inequities are not a surprise and as an organisation we have been proactive in working with our national partners to ensure the voice of rural people in terms of health outcomes is heard loud and clear,” he said.
Some 750,000 rural people generated 50% of New Zealand’s GDP, he said.
He added rural disparities were frequently highlighted in Heather Simpson’s Health and Disability Review, the same report which proposed centralisation of the health sector.
“We note that rural disparities or inequities were highlighted in the review 84 times,” he said.
“Waitaha’s concern is that if rural is not identified in the legislation, will Health NZ and the Maori Health Authority be accountable for rural health outcomes.”
There was further unease around the current health workforce, which has “retracted over recent years”, with access to health interventions not being as readily available to those in rural areas.
“These two issues need to be addressed now,” Eschenbach said.
Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey echoed concerns of rural voices being lost in the transition.
“As the Canterbury District Health Board gets disestablished there is a real threat that rural and regional voices will be lost in this new mega health entity run out of Wellington,” he said.
Four hospitals in Canterbury were temporarily closed in March as the Omicron outbreak bore down on the country, sparking community fears the move was permanent.
An after hours medical facility in Rangiora also remains entrenched in the planning stages after it was first confirmed in 2020.
“Waimakariri residents should be worried that commitments to open both after-hours and Oxford hospitals could be overlooked in the restructure,” Doocey said.
*Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Rangiora Players are looking for some props for their next production.
We are looking for some props and wonder if anyone out there may be able to help?
The most unusual one we are trying to borrow is a standing Male mannequin.
It will not be hurt during the production and will stand centre stage!.
We are also looking for a galvanised rubbish bin and rocking chair, of the Granny Clampett style.
Spark have recently announced a price increase of $3 - $5 a month for new and existing broadband customers and other providers seem likely to follow suit.
Information collated by our research team has found that tens of thousands of Kiwis are still missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings each year on their broadband bill, because they are failing to shop around for cheaper broadband plans.
We estimate that over 500,000 households would be able to pay less for their broadband each month but many consumers are unaware of the fact that they could be making these savings and people often don’t know where to start when looking for a change in broadband plan or provider.
This is where NZ Compare can help. Our websites are simple to use and if you need more help, our friendly, Auckland based, customer support centre can advise on the most suitable broadband plan for your needs and help talk you through the switch. With unlimited fibre broadband plans available for less than $60 a month why would you pay more?
Find out more at NZ Compare or call the team on 0508 226672
CORRECTION: This post has been amended to clarify that the price of fibre and copper broadband internet services will increase, and that the increase is between $3 and $5 a month, not only $5 a month on fibre broadband plans as previously posted. (Amended at 10.31am, June 23, 2022)
Paul and Lesley Askin hold their next family-friendly monthly service on Sunday, 7 August, at the Ashley Community Church from 4.30 pm. Dress warmly and bring a finger food contribution for shared tea afterwards. Masks are encouraged. Remember to go before you come as there are no toilet facilities
Enquiries to Paul or Lesley, Ph 021 140 2074
39 Canterbury St, Ashley. .