Dean – Hope commissioners will understand Central Otago health needs

Waitaki news
Thursday, June 18, 2015

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said she was hopeful the appointment of commissioners to replace the Southern District Health Board would signal a new way of thinking for rural health in Central Otago.

“I hope the commissioners will understand the needs of Central Otago’s growing population and be ready to utilise the modern technologies that are on offer to ensure better rural health delivery.

“The health budget is growing year on year but is always limited, and the funding needs to be spent wisely. I’m hopeful that the appointment of these commissioners will signal a new approach to the way that our health dollars are spent in rural areas.

“I’d like to see some new thinking and the use of some new models in health service delivery.

“For example, let’s investigate whether the services local people travel to Dunedin to access couldn’t be effectively delivered at Dunstan for the same costs.

“In the future funding may need to be targeted at appropriately meeting the needs of the growing number of patients in Central Otago by delivering services closer to home.

“The visiting surgical bus is a unique way of delivering low risk elective day surgery services to patients in rural areas, without the need for accommodation, or long distance travel.

“Using this product could be the way of the future for Central Otago and I hope that the new commissioners will positively consider it.

“I would like to see them, the community and rural health professionals working together in a progressive and open minded way to deliver improved health services to the people of Central Otago.”

Mrs Dean said she had responded to hundreds of letters from the community about this issue and she believed the Health Minister’s latest decision would go a long way towards addressing those concerns.