Study shows a better way to give service
Large donations much appreciated
More rural health care money could be coming Wanaka’s way following a three-month study into after-hours GP services, by the Southern District Health Board.
The pilot project began in April and runs to the end of June. It is being used as a model for future rural Otago health care, following concerns from Wanaka doctors about the lack of funding to run the after-hours service.
Wanaka Medical and Aspiring Medical currently share the afterhours service and run drop-in clinics on alternate weekends.
Southern Primary Health Organisation chief executive Ian Macara told the Mirror last week there had been concerns that the funding allocated wasn’t covering the full cost of services.
‘‘The good news is the service hasn’t deteriorated, but from the study we will know exactly how to provide better for the community in the future,’’ he said.
The PHO was looking at all the financial and operational data in the study, to see how the service could be run more effectively.
‘‘The important thing about the pilot is it’s GP-led. In other places you have nurse practitioner.’’
He said because Wanaka was one of the most rural communities in Otago, with an increasing population, the PHO needed to plan for that.
An action plan had been made three years ago in a region-wide report to look at all the services in rural areas, and a key point of that was after-hours services, he said. Two Wanaka organisations have been given a share of $60,000 from the Upper Clutha A&P Show Society.
The society, which runs the Wanaka A&P Show, will give $50,000 to the Upper Clutha Hospice Trust and $10,000 to Community Networks Wanaka.
Funding for the hospice trust will be used to fit out a palliative room and a family room at the proposed hospice at the Aspiring Lifestyle Village and essential operational costs at Community Networks.
Society president Beau Trevathan said ‘‘the society is delighted to be able to give two worthy organisations some much-needed money.
‘‘We believe these two organisations represent all aspects of the community – from young and old, to sick and needy people living here,’’ she said.
Hospice trustee Ray Rudkin said the funding was the largest lump sum donation the trust had received.
‘‘It came as a complete surprise. We were blown away,’’ he said.
Community Networks manger Kate Murray said ‘‘it’s very hard for us to find funding for our ongoing costs like rates, and phone.
‘‘The majority of our funding is for one-off projects so to have money for two years to cover operational costs is just fantastic,’’ she said.
It was the first time in three years the society was able to give large donations after a period of consolidation and saving to upgrade the woolshed on the showgrounds.
The society also gives about $25,000 every year to community organisations which work at the show and three $1000 agricultural scholarships.
Show beneficiaries: Community Networks Wanaka manager Kate Murray, Upper Clutha A&P Show Society president Beau Trevathan, Upper Clutha Clutha Hospice Trust trustee Ray Rudkin and Wanaka Show organiser Jane Stalker at the Wanaka Showgrounds.