No decision on East Coast health review until after community hui

12 March 2015

A proposal as to what health care on the East Coast might look like in the future will be presented for feedback at a series of community hui next month.

Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Ngati Porou Hauora and Tairāwhiti District Health have been looking at how the health of people on the East Coast, and their access to services, can be improved.

Reports from an expert advisory group, geo-technical consultants and a health architect, who looked at facility options, were considered by the boards of the three organisations late last year. They also considered a a future service model submitted on behalf of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and Ngati Porou Hauora.

The reports have all shown that there are some hard decisions that will need to be made, says Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Chief Executive Teepa Wawatai. “Given the importance of this issue and the potential impact on communities the decisions can’t be rushed. Therefore we need to give ourselves more time to consider the matters before us.”

“There was a lot of agreement across the three boards on what the proposal would look like, says Ngati Porou Hauora Chief Executive Rose Kahaki. “However we all agreed that the options we will be talking with our communities about needed refining. The final data analysis will be completed by the end of March and draft reports will be considered by the three Boards in April. Community hui will be arranged after that. Community feedback will be summarised and taken back to the three Boards for their consideration and final decisions. The summary of feedback will also be sent back to each community.”

“From earlier consultation we heard that people want to keep community health clinics on the Coast. They are working well. The proposal for East Coast health services will be based around using the existing community clinics.”

“We have also been looking at what health on the Coast will look like in the future and how we can create a fit-for-purpose community health hub that meets the needs of unique East Coast communities. In particular we have looked at maternity care, aged care and long term beds,” added Mrs Kahaki.