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DHB Working To Ensure Consistency

23 November 2004

Capital & Coast DHB Working To Ensure Consistency In Access To After-Hours Services Across District

The Board of C&C DHB has today agreed on the terms for the development of a consistent model for after-hours services across the district.

The Board held a special meeting today to discuss the appropriate levels of part charges for patients seeking GP-type care at the new Accident & Medical Centre which is due to open at Kenepuru Community Hospital in Porirua next April.

The Board today once again confirmed that all emergency and secondary care at the A&M will be free of charge. However part charges will apply for patients requiring GP-type services, which would normally be seen and treated by their family doctor.

The Board has been working on the issue of part-charges for a number of months, and at their November meeting agreed that this was essential in order to avoid damaging the ‘continuity of care’ relationship between patients and their regular GPs.

The Board today reaffirmed that continuity of care is important, especially for those with chronic conditions or requiring regular care. The Board noted that primary care is best delivered by doctors in ‘general practice’ in the community (GPs).

“The whole issue of after-hours care has grown wider in recent months,” Board chairman Bob Henare said today. “The recent decision by the privately run Wellington Accident & Urgent Medical Centre to close between the hours of 11pm and 8am makes it clear that we need to agree on a consistent approach for the whole district, encompassing Kapiti, Porirua and Wellington.

“Today we set the guidelines for the development of that district-wide plan. This is a huge step forward, and will help ensure that no-one is disadvantaged, and that primary care services in the community are not eroded.

“The principles which underpin this approach include a focus on reducing disparities, establishing consistency across the whole district and contributing to the sustainability of PHOs,” Bob Henare said.

The Board will seek input from the public, health professionals, PHOs, community representatives, advisory groups, the Maori Partnership Board and others in early 2005 on the district-wide model for after-hours services.

Accordingly, the fee scale for part charges for GP-type care at Kenepuru A&M will be finalised early next year, to ensure it fits with the model for district-wide consistency.

ENDS

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