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NZRGPN wants continued focus on key rural health issues

November 30, 2011

NZRGPN wants continued focus on key rural health issues

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network congratulates the National-led government on its re-election for a second term and looks forward to continuing to work with the Minister of Health to solve issues in the rural health sector, some of them longstanding.

“We look forward to working with the new government and to help them deal with issues which rural communities and rural general practice teams face day-to-day, some of them ongoing and historical,” says Network chairman Dr Jo Scott-Jones.

Priorities include:

• Policies that will help retain health providers in rural communities through improved working conditions and career opportunities;
• Policies that focus on increasing the available health workforce through strengthening career pathways and providing financial and infrastructure support for training of health professionals in rural communities;
• Policies that address the increasing burden of after-hours care on providers, so that health professionals can continue to serve their communities into the future, as well as improvements in rural obstetric care, rural palliative care, and rural emergency care.

“We also want to see policies that put an emphasis on supported self and home care, and building resilient rural communities through community engagement in their health care systems.”

“Rural areas are often areas of high needs, with a low socio-economic status and a high proportion of Maori in the population. We are hoping that the government will provide clear leadership in addressing the health care needs of rural communities,” says Dr Scott-Jones.

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network is a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for rural general practices New Zealand-wide. It operates a separate arm that recruits GPs and Nurse Practitioners to work in rural New Zealand.
Rural communities in New Zealand generate 80 percent of GDP and represent 22 percent of the population.

ENDS

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