Community Scoop

Ngati Ruanui purchasing Patea Medical Centre

Press Release – Te Runanga o Ngaati Ruanui Trust

STARTS Itll be business as usual for Patea patients with the added benefit of regular on-site doctors as Ngati Ruanui purchases the Patea Medical centre.UPDATED: Media Release

Ngati Ruanui purchasing Patea Medical Centre
It’ll be business as usual for Patea patients with the added benefit of regular on-site doctors as Ngati Ruanui purchases the Patea Medical centre.

Ngati Ruanui Holdings Limited will take over on August 1 2018.

The former owners, Patea and District Community Medical Trust 2000 (Patea Medical Trust), have struggled to locate a permanent doctor for the rural community since the last doctor left on Friday June 30, 2017.

Ngati Ruanui Holdings chairwoman Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says this is part of an overall economic investment strategy.

“We’re investing in our people and the Patea community. This acquisition will provide health certainty and wellbeing for all residents of Patea.”

A mixture of Ngati Ruanui doctors and locums will begin working in Patea, ensuring there is a permanent team of doctors providing back up and support.

“It also builds on our existing strategy of having a healthy productive, innovative, export-orientated regional economy that will support better paying jobs and better quality of life,” she says.

“We provide a technologically advanced STEAM programme to youth, are establishing an innovative berry food business to provide highly sort-after skills and employment and have a virtual health model partnership with Dr Lance O’Sullivan (MaiHealth).”

The MaiHealth virtual doctor network was implemented in 2017, when Patea residents needed access to care. The structure has worked for patients with straightforward medical needs, organising same day scripts through a simple online system.

Patients needing more thorough medical attention have been travelling as far as Hawera and Whanganui for treatment when a doctor has not been available.

MaiHealth will continue to stand as a separate service.

“We’re looking forward to providing a range of services in South Taranaki; bringing the services to the rural areas, where they’re needed,” Ngarewa-Packer says.

Ngati Ruanui believes it is critical to invest in social and economic wellbeing through our people, says Haimona Maruera, Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust.

“I’m proud to be born and raised in Patea, it’s a community of stamina, resilience and huge talent so it’s exciting to be at this stage.”

Patea Medical Trust chair Brett Honeyfield believes the move is the best possible outcome for all parties.

“Now that we’ve found someone who wants to run a medical practice in Patea, we are confident this is going to be to the benefit of the community here,” Honeyfield says.

The original Trust formed to purchase the practice from a private GP in 1991. The practice was purchased using community donations.

The Trust spent the next 9 years working voluntarily to keep doctors in the town and in 2000 a new, charitable, Trust was formed and continued that work. In recent years the challenge to find and keep a GP in Patea has proven extremely difficult.

Honeyfield considers that the supervision requirements for overseas qualified practitioners exclude many good doctors, and that the lack of back-up and collegial support available to a sole-charge doctor in a small town to be off-putting to potential candidates. This is where Ngati Ruanui taking over is of great benefit as they have the ability to provide that supervision and support.

“We all share strong community objectives. Ngati Ruanui want to be here helping the people of Patea and finding people wanting to do that without a sole focus on financial gain has always been the biggest challenge.”

*Ngati Ruanui owns the Award Winning Stratford Mountain House.

*Ngati Ruanui Healthcare is a 7000+ patient practice.

*Te Puawaitanga o Ngati Ruanui is the only bilingual Early Childhood Education available in South Taranaki.

*Ngati Ruanui Te Kohanga Reo is a total immersion facility.

*Ngati Ruanui provides sport, secondary and tertiary education scholarships to registered Uri.

*The Patea and District Community Medical Trust 2000 formed in 2000 as a charitable Trust. It replaced the Patea and District Community Medical Trust (formed in 1991).

*The original P&DCMT formed to prevent closure of the Patea Medical Centre when the then private-practice doctor decided to close his business to pursue further education.

*All current practice employees have been offered jobs by Ngati Ruanui.

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