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Certainty Given To Local Health Services

The Government is to transfer Te Puia Hospital on the East Coast to Ngati Porou Hauora – giving locals certainty about the future delivery of health services, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said in Gisborne today.

"Cabinet agreed yesterday to the $2.2million transfer of assets to Ngati Porou Hauora and upgrading of the old hospital," Mrs Shipley said.

"Ngati Porou Hauora is a fantastic example of a local community finding innovative solutions to their local health needs.

"The transfer of the hospital buildings to the local Maori health provider will ensure essential health services are continued on the East Coast and also protect the ongoing ownership of the assets for the local communities.

"The local community will be responsible for managing their own resources to ensure local health needs are met. This will provide greater stability for health services."

Since 1995 Ngati Porou Hauora has provided a range of services to the local community. They now include comprehensive primary health services from six locations. The services include clinics, acute medical, elderly care, x-ray, pharmacy, maternity, dental, community support, mental health outpatient and Accident and Emergency services from Te Puia hospital

"The official transfer will take place on November 17 when the Minister of Health will take part in a signing ceremony in Te Puia Springs.

"National is committed to giving communities certainty about the security and stability of their health services.

"We also want to foster local solutions to local health needs. The decision will help ensure Ngati Porou Hauora can keep focusing on improving the health status of locals," Mrs Shipley said.

ENDS

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