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Health Minister’s imminent departure leaves hard-to-fill gap


Health Minister’s imminent departure leaves hard-to-fill gap

Today’s announcement that Health Minister Tony Ryall is to retire from politics at this year’s general election sees the departure of a politician who has taken a keen interest in issues relating to rural health.

Minister Ryall will be sorely missed and will leave a gap that will be very hard to fill, says New Zealand Rural General Practice Network chairman Dr Jo Scott-Jones.

"Tony has been the bright, neck- tied face of the Ministry of Health. He will be a hard act to follow as a skilled manager of contentious issues.

"I have seen him being personally helpful with issues raised directly by members at our conference,” says Dr Scott-Jones a GP based in Opotiki within Mr Ryall’s Bay of Plenty electorate.

"He has overseen the review of rural support funding over the past three years and we are excited about the opportunities that alliances will provide for rural communities through their PHOs to make decisions about how best to support sustainable rural health services.

"We are really pleased to see the Voluntary Bonding Scheme (VBS) more rurally focussed and beginning to include primary care nurses.

"We look forward to a continued good relationship with the next Minister of Health, whatever the colour of his or her tie."


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