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$450,000 For PI Health Services In Porirua

The Health Funding Authority has earmarked nearly half a million dollars for Pacific Island health services in Porirua.

The service will include the facilitation of access to primary health services by Pacific Island peoples, who statistics show often do not have a regular general practitioner or other primary health care service.

This can lead to high hospitalisations for conditions that are largely preventable.

The objectives of the service will be to:

* improve Pacific Island peoples' access to primary care services that are affordable and culturally appropriate;

* improve Pacific Island peoples' understanding of their health problems, the treatments and prevention for them;

* explain the treatment of Pacific Island peoples' health problems in a way that is easily understood;

* increase the knowledge of Pacific Island fanau/family and communities about which health services are available, how to access them, and how much they cost.

HFA Senior Locality Manager, Martin Hefford, says the money will be well spent.

"Improving Pacific Island peoples' access to primary care services will mean fewer hospital admissions for conditions which can be easily treated in the community if the person sees a GP early enough," Mr Hefford says.

"Pacific Island peoples will also have fewer admissions to hospital if they know more about managing any chronic conditions they may have, such as asthma or diabetes."

The HFA is also looking into funding wider asthma and diabetes management and prevention programmes for non-Pacific Island people living in Porirua, and will consult on options for this.

[ends]

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