NZRGPN calls for greater primary health care focus

Press Release – NZ Rural General Practice Network

The next government needs to focus its attention on primary care within the health system, as there is clear evidence in rural communities that a good primary care system is essential to address health needs, according to the New Zealand Rural General …November 15, 2011

NZRGPN calls for greater primary health care focus

The next government needs to focus its attention on primary care within the health system, as there is clear evidence in rural communities that a good primary care system is essential to address health needs, according to the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network.

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.

Network chairman Dr Jo Scott-Jones says rural communities in New Zealand generate 80 percent of GDP and represent 22 percent of the population.

“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 next government will provide clear leadership in addressing the health care needs of rural communities.

“In particular we want to see policies that include a focus that help us to retain the providers we currently have in rural communities, through improved working conditions and career opportunities.

“We want to see 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.

“We want to see policies that address the increasing burden of after-hours care on providers, so that we can continue to serve our communities into the future, improvements in rural obstetric care, rural palliative care, and rural emergency care.

“We 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.”

ENDS

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