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Rural Women welcome new $36m health travel policy

13 May 2005

Rural Women New Zealand welcomes new $36m health travel policy

Rural Women New Zealand welcomes today’s Government announcement of a national travel and accommodation scheme to assist people journeying long distances to access specialist health services.

The new policy, which is backed by an extra $36million of funding, was announced by Associate Health and Rural Affairs Minister Damien O’Connor at the Rural General Practice Network Conference in Auckland today. The scheme is expected to help thousands of rural people who need to travel to main centres for treatment.

Rural Women New Zealand President Sherrill Dackers said previous travel and accommodation schemes have been very limited and varied between the different regions. The administration of the new scheme through one toll free number will improve consistency for all rural people, regardless of where they live.

Lack of knowledge about the previous schemes was also a problem and Rural Women welcomes the publicity surrounding the new scheme.

“Ensuring the general public and rural GPs are aware of the scheme is a key to its success,” says Sherrill Dackers.

ENDS

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