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Wakatipu Health Reference Group pleased with progress

Press release
Wakatipu Health Reference Group pleased with progress.
Monday 18 March, 2013

The Wakatipu Health Reference Group (WHRG) is pleased with what’s been achieved in the last 15 months but there’s plenty more to be done according to Chairperson and Queenstown Lakes District Council Mayor Vanessa van Uden.

The group was established in October 2011 to provide input into the planning of future health services for the Wakatipu and also to monitor the Southern District Health Board’s delivery of 21 recommendations made by the National Health Board.

Nine of the recommendations have been completed with all the others being in progress and in the WHRG’s first annual report released today, the group reports that significant progress has been made in improving the services offered to residents of the Wakatipu Basin.

“More outpatient services are being offered at Lakes District Hospital and local doctors now have an increased ability to undertake work in areas of special interest, reducing the need for patients to travel to see consultants,” Mrs van Uden said.

“Access to CT scanning services has also been improved with a CT scanner to be located at Dunstan Hospital.”

While the group is pleased with the improvements to date, they are monitoring three key areas that they would like to ensure are progressed in the next year.
This includes helping to preserve the structure of the Wakatipu Health Trust, which needs a number of new trustees to continue operating.

“The Wakatipu Health Trust has been invaluable to the community in terms of securing funding to purchase major diagnostic equipment and WHRG needs to focus on finding some community spirited people to help with the challenges of fundraising,” she said.

“This will be one of the key focuses of the WHRG and anyone who is interested in putting themselves forward can talk to any Reference Group member.”

The Wakatipu Health Reference Group consists of

• Mayor Vanessa van Uden – QLDC representative and Chair
• Martin Hawes – Community representative
• Tony Hill – Community representative
• Dr Elinor Slater – Primary care clinicians’ representative
• Dr James Reid – Secondary care clinicians’ representative
• Robert Mackway-Jones – SDHB Executive Director of Finance and Funding in attendance


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