Do the census, its good for your health

4 March 2018

Health in Tairāwhiti needs all the funds it can get.

Census day – Tuesday 6 March 2018 - has a big impact on how many health dollars end up in the district. Health funding is population-based. It’s not just the number of people either; older, younger, rural and people on low incomes attract a higher rate of health funding.

This year the census is online. “If a lot of older people don’t complete it, for instance, that will have a significant effect on how much funding we get to provide health services in Tairāwhiti”, says Hauora Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Jim Green.

“The population count for Tairāwhiti in the 2013 census was 43,653, of which 19,683 were Māori. At the time there were closer to 45,000 people enrolled in a Tairāwhiti General Practice. This suggests that around 1500 residents didn’t complete a census or missed out being included in the count. On average each resident is worth approximately $3600 in health dollars. That equates to $5.4 million Tairāwhiti may have missed out on each year since.”

That is a large amount of money for many services we could have provided in the community, in hospital, caring for so many more people.

At the moment we have 47,700 people enrolled with a Tairāwhiti General Practice. National population projections suggest that our population numbers may be closer to 48,700. We really need the Census figures to confirm that significant increase in population. The increase in demand on GPs and Gisborne Hospital suggest that we are serving more people.

“Census data is not only used to determine funding; it is used to help us plan for the future. Having accurate information about our people helps us make decisions about which services are needed and where they should be.”

So please take time to fill out the census and also please make sure family, friends, work mates, everyone you know also helps us to get what we need to make for more and better health care in Tairāwhiti.

All people staying overnight at Gisborne Hospital will be given a paper copy of the census to complete. “We don’t have Wi-Fi on the wards so it would be difficult for many people in hospital to complete online. There will be help from census volunteers to complete the form but friends and family visiting the hospital are asked to assist where possible.”

Do the census at