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Rural GPs To Benefit From Support Scheme

MEDIA RELEASE, May 5, 2000

Rural GPs To Benefit From Support Scheme

Health Minister Annette King said today 13 rural GP practices will benefit from $750,000 from the rural practice support scheme over the next 18 months.

Mrs King said funding was initially to be allocated to 10 practices, but the Health Funding Authority has now given grants to 13, six in the North Island and seven in the South Island.

"This country is characterised by large pockets of rural communities, which by virtue of their remoteness, size and demographics, have distinct issues related to health care delivery and access," Mrs King said.

"The intention is to ensure that rural communities most at need benefit from the rural practice support scheme."

Funding would address issues such as workloads (where the practice is too large for one doctor but not enough for two), small populations, the poor socio-economic status of communities with large proportions of beneficiaries, communities with a high percentage of Maori, remoteness, professional issues, capital costs and the lack of nurses with rural nursing skills, she said.

"The initiative takes into account challenges faced by rural GPs. Professional satisfaction, good working relationships, financial stability, well-defined geography, locum availability, integration with local hospital services, and shared on-call duty are all factors which are important to the smooth running of a rural practice."

Earlier this year, the HFA's five offices identified which practices in each locality might benefit from the grants, and the information then went through a national selection process, Mrs King said.

The HFA used the following criteria:
· funding gives support to rural communities in most need
· funding contributes towards a pathway to sustainable service provision
· funding complements existing rural health initiatives
· funding encourages greater collaboration with other health care service providers such as hospitals and Maori providers.

Details of practices and their funding are:
Great Barrier Island, Auckland, funding allocated (excluding gst) $75,000, 1999/00 (33 percent) $24,750, 2000/01 (67 percent) $50,250.
Lumsden, Dunedin, $40,000, $13,200, $26,800.
Otautau, Dunedin, $70,000, $23,100, $46,900.
Owaka, Dunedin, $75,000, $24,750, $50,250.
Ranfurly, Dunedin, $70,000, $23,100, $46,900.
Roxburgh, Dunedin, $70,000, $23,100, $46,900.
Taihape, Wellington, $70,000, $23,100, $46,900.
Tapanui, Dunedin, $40,000, $13,200, $26,800.
Taumaranui, Hamilton, $75,000, $24,750, $50,250.
Turangi, Hamilton, $65,000, $21,450, $43,550.
Twizel, Christchurch, $40,000, $13,200, $26,800.
Waipu, Auckland, $20,000, $6,600, $13,400.
Whakatane, Hamilton, $40,000, $13,200, $26,800.
Total (excl. GST), $750,222, $247,574, 502,648.


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