South Taranaki community considers rural model of health care

26 November 2019

An enhanced rural model of care has been proposed for the South Taranaki community which aims to improve health outcomes by enabling people to receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

Taranaki DHB chief executive Rosemary Clements outlined the proposal for an improved Health Hub today at a public meeting held in the Hawera Community Centre.

Ms Clements says the model of care looks to address and relieve the pressure of a very stretched primary care service in South Taranaki.

“We’ve been aware of the lack of capacity in primary care in South Taranaki for a long time, and over this time we’ve developed additional rural doctors that are trained to meet the needs of a rural community.

“The model proposes to retain current hospital services but add a primary care walk-in service, which alongside our other providers, will help meet the immediate needs of our community.

“We have been acutely aware of the lack of access to after hours care and subsequently the Emergency Department in Hawera is being used for this. We want to relieve this situation by providing primary care for the people in South Taranaki, 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a homecare medical phone line.”

Homecare medical services will be run by registered healthcare professionals, who can book appointments, provide health advice over the phone and if needed refer patients to the most appropriate service for their specific health needs (including emergency services).

Ms Clements continues “We are also exploring the option of an experienced paramedic who would be additional to the St John emergency ambulance service, and who could provide assessment and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries at the patient’s home/location.

“Taranaki DHB acknowledges the hard work of our primary care providers in the South Taranaki community over a long period of time, but understands they need support to ensure that the services provided are timely and appropriate. So we’re looking at not only providing capacity for appointments, but also a South Taranaki-wide extended team that would give primary care access to other health professionals (e.g. social worker, health coach or dietitian).”

South Taranaki Mayor Phil Nixon was encouraged with the proposed model and says it will be good to see additional health care services provided for the community.

“From what I heard today, this looks like a good proposal for our district, and the feedback from those who attended the public meeting was very positive. However, we will be keeping a close eye on how it will be implemented in practice and whether it meets our community’s needs,” says Mr Nixon.


Proposed South Taranaki Rural Model of Care


Last updated: Thursday, December 5, 2019

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