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Ministry offers support services for Gisborne wome

Media release 19 April 2001

Ministry offers support services for Gisborne women

Director-General of Health Dr Karen Poutasi today encouraged women living in the Gisborne region who had not accessed additional support services since 1999 to contact a free phone 0800 number (0800 444 633) to discuss the options available.

During the former HFA's Gisborne Investigation and the subsequent Ministerial Inquiry a range of additional personal and other support services were put in place to assist women to access treatment and other services.

"These services were well received by local women. Some 6,600 women received free smears which were available from May 1999. These were available for women who had had smears in the Gisborne region during the 1991 - 1996 period and those living in the Gisborne area at the time. Counselling was also provided by ACC registered counsellors.

"Although demand for these services was greatest during 1999 and 2000, the Ministry has maintained the 0800 number so that women could discuss their individual circumstances with trained professionals. With the release last week of the Ministerial report it is important that women are aware of this number.

"By contacting the 0800 number women will connect with a person able to assist them with individually tailored support services. These services will complement treatment services already in place and are responsive to a woman's specific needs on a case-by-case basis," Dr Poutasi said.

Ends

For more information contact Kallon Basham, Ph (04) 496 2385 or 025 897 521

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