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PATHS to lead more people off benefits into work

PATHS to lead more people off benefits into work

A new approach to support people on Sickness and Invalid’s Benefits back into work has been extended to Wellington after being piloted in Auckland.

PATHS (Providing Access to Health Solutions) helps people on the benefits get back into work by providing access to a range of health interventions, including intensive physiotherapy, access to pain clinics, fitness programmes and extra visits to health professionals for the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma.

PATHS was first introduced to the Manukau region in April this year and is now being jointly offered by Work and Income and Capital & Coast District Health Board in the Wellington region. The programme will be rolled-out to other parts of the country in the coming year.

Launching PATHS in Wellington today, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey and Health Minister Annette King said the programme is part of the government’s $20 million Sickness and Invalid’s Benefits Strategy which will be implemented over three years.

Steve Maharey said PATHS was an important part of the government’s commitment to recognising people’s potential and supporting their return to work.

“A cluster of services, including PATHS, have been well received in Manukau," Steve Maharey said. “Now that this service is available to people in the Wellington region, people with ill health or a disability will be able to work towards the goal of sustainable employment."

Health Minister Annette King said PATHS was a great example of what can be achieved when cooperation occurs across government sectors.

"I'm really pleased that we've worked together to achieve this new approach,” Annette King said. “PATHS ensures that people on the Sickness and Invalid's Benefits get access to the high-quality therapies and treatments available in New Zealand to help them get back to work."

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