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Snapshot of the Kapiti Coast health services

5 July 1999

Snapshot depiction of the Kapiti Coast health services

A snapshot depiction of regional health services could be a valuable tool for health providers and policy makers in the future, says Ministry of Health spokesperson Peter Hughes.

"The first of its kind in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health's Kapiti Snapshot looked for people's views on the barriers faced when accessing health and disability services for pre-schoolers.

"The purpose of the snapshot was to firstly identify the barriers and then work through ways of overcoming these. It also identified good services," says Mr Hughes, the Deputy Director-General of Performance Management.

One hundred and seventy-two questionnaires were gathered from people in the area and interviews were also held with providers who offered services to Kapiti pre-schoolers.

"The report on the snapshot not only alerts providers to areas where services can be improved, it is also of value to those using the services. The snapshot points people in the right direction, giving them information about publications and who to go to if they want to know more about what services cost and how to make a complaint.

"To see how the snapshot works, we can look at the example of dental care which was considered one of the biggest health issues facing pre-schoolers on the coast. People felt there needed to be more dental services and easier access to dental services.

"Currently dental therapist are only managing to see children every 18 months, but Hutt Valley Health is aiming to provide an annual check up. They will also ensure that dental therapists get out to pre-school centres to let parents know about the service they offer.

"Overall the Snapshot shows that there are few gaps in Kapiti's services for pre-schoolers. The primary concerns were about the incidence of certain diseases like asthma, infectious diseases, coughs and colds, ear infections rather than the services that are available to help deal with these diseases, says Mr Hughes.

"This is one example of the Ministry's moves to improve its knowledge about how well services are working in the community. With this kind of information we can ascertain where the gaps are from the public's perspective, which is what really counts.

"In the future this technique of gathering information from the coalface could be particularly useful in a community with significant health issues, helping us to keep tabs on the performance of the sector and via this improve the delivery of health and disability services to people."

Copies of the Kapiti Snapshot are available from the Kapiti Coast District Council, libraries on the Kapiti Coast, the Ministry of Health and the HFA.

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