Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) says it is pleased to see Budget 2022 investing in services that deliver better health outcomes for those living in rural New Zealand.
LGNZ President, Stuart Crosby says the “postcode lottery” has long plagued communities living in remote parts of the country.
“The new locality networks will play a key role in ensuring that the quality of care you receive won’t be determined by where you live,” said Mr Crosby.
“We also have an ageing Māori population in our smaller communities.
“It’s important the $168 million funding for Māori Health Authority (MHA) for direct commissioning of services reaches rural New Zealand. We want the MHA to prioritise these communities.”
There’s also an opportunity for the new health IT platform to make a huge difference, he said.
“IT systems can take several years to build and we need to balance the need to get a complex project like this right with ensuring that it’s up and running in a timely way. The new IT system will make it much easier for health professionals to access medical records, reducing the risk of people falling through the cracks.”
“The boost in funding for the emergency helicopter fleet will go some way towards making sure that urgent medical care is available quickly,” said Mr Crosby.