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National rural health conference Wellington

PRESS RELEASE for immediate use, March 24, 2017

Top line-up of keynote topics and speakers for National Rural Health Conference

Dr Peter Moodie, Dr Robyn Toomath, Dr Eric Crampton, mental health campaigner Matt Shirtcliff, former All Black Norm Hewitt, and clean water campaigner Marnie Prickett are amongst the line-up of keynote speakers at this year’s National Rural Health Conference in Wellington.

The conference, hosted by the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network, is on at the TSB Bank Arena from March 30 to April 2.

The line-up of keynote speakers covers topical health issues such as “Is General Practice funding sustainable and equitable?” and “Are Health Care Homes our salvation?” (Dr Peter Moodie), bullying and family violence (Norm Hewitt), water quality (Marnie Prickett), obesity (Dr Robyn Toomath), mental health and suicide (Matt Shirtcliffe) and health economics (Dr Eric Crampton).

High profile rural health topics such as a recent review of the Primary Response in Medical Emergency (PRIME) system and the question of whether New Zealand needs a rural school of medicine, are other keynote sessions in the programme.

The rural school of medicine discussion will be led by Professor Ross Lawrenson and Dr Garry Nixon. Dr Lawrenson is Professor of Population Health at the University of Waikato and Clinical Director, Strategy and Funding for Waikato District Health Board. Dr Nixon is a Rural Generalist at Dunstan Hospital in Central Otago, is a Senior Lecturer in Rural Health with the University of Otago, Director of the Dunedin School of Medicine's Rural Postgraduate Programme and Chair of the Division of Health Sciences Rural Working Party.

Dr Eric Crampton is Head of Research with the New Zealand Initiative in Wellington. Dr Crampton joined the Initiative in 2014; he previously served as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Economics with the University of Canterbury.

Former All Black Norm Hewitt is a mentor to youth and an ambassador for many charitable organisations. But it wasn't always that way. Norm is a former New Zealand Maori Rugby team captain and All Black. In a long career from 1988 to 2001, he was a frequently a controversial and outspoken figure.

Wellington GP Peter Moodie is one of the founding partners of Karori Medical Centre. He retired as Medical Director of PHARMAC in 2013. He has a particular interest in Diabetes, medical applications and IT, and Health of the Older Person. He is the author of the so-called “Moodie Report,” a report to the Minister of Health on the “Sustainability of General Practice”.

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