Rural health conference to highlight IT

Press Release – Rural General Practice Network

IT or Information Technology tipped to be the way of the future in health world-wide will feature prominently at the New Zealand Rural General Practice Networks 2013 conference, scheduled for March 13-17 at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

PRESS RELEASE FROM NEW ZEALAND RURAL GENERAL PRACTICE NETWORK
March 6, 2013

Rural health conference to highlight IT

IT or Information Technology – tipped to be the way of the future in health world-wide – will feature prominently at the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network’s 2013 conference, scheduled for March 13-17 at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

There’ll also be a healthy range of CME and research sessions, and keynote speakers throughout the five-day event.

As a sample of what’s on offer, the conference handbook is available as an APP (Application), there will be a live link to primary health care providers in the Cook Islands, representatives from telcos Vodafone and Chorus will feature in a keynote panel discussion along with Graeme Osborne (director, Information Group in the Ministry of Health’s National Health Board business unit) and Andrew Bowers (Medical Director of Information Technology for the South Island Alliance), and the latest technology will be on display in the exhibition area, which boasts almost 50 stands. The Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) will feature prominently in the IT theme and telco representatives will be on hand to answer delegates’ questions.

Courtesy of Mobile Health, there will also be internet-streamed interviews with keynote and other speakers following their presentations.

While on the communication topic, the conference will also forge links with groups such as the New Zealand Rural Hospital Network (NZRHN) and the newly- formed Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHĀNZ), both of which will host meetings and forums at the conference.

Modelled on the Australian Rural Health Alliance, RHĀNZ brings together medical, nursing, pharmacy and allied health groups, with social and political organisations involved in rural communities to develop policy advice and advocate on behalf of communities with a strong unified cross-sector voice. A pre-conference half-day on March 13 will be dedicated to RHĀNZ and will feature keynote speakers, AGM and dinner.

A variety of other pre-conference workshops, concurrent sessions and keynote speakers – in fact something for every member of the practice team: doctors, nurses, practice managers and administrators – contribute to a busy five-day event.

Keynote speakers include Professor Lesley Barclay (Professor and head of Sydney University Centre for Rural Health, School of Public Health), Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori Party MP, Waiariki electorate), Chai Chuah (national director of the National Health Board) and Graeme Osbourne (director, Information Group in the Ministry of Health’s National Health Board business unit) and Henare O’Keefe (Hastings District Council councillor and community advocate).

Also returning to the programme is the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Fun Run and Walk. The course for the event – now in its second year – is the Rotorua lakefront. Southern Cross Primary Care has again kindly sponsored the fun run and walk. The enormous contribution and dedication to rural health in New Zealand made by the late Dr Pat Farry was recognised through the establishment of an education trust.

Dr Farry died suddenly while working locum duty in Twizel in October, 2009. In memory of his dedication, family and friends established the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust.

The annual Peter Snow Memorial Award will also be announced at the conference. The award was set up to honour the life and work of Dr Peter Snow who passed away in March 2006. Dr Snow was a rural general practitioner based in Tapanui.

A range of social functions will also be held including the Telecom Welcome Function and the Vodafone Saturday night dinner at the Blue Baths.

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