Plan to share health ser­vices

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DEB­BIE JAMIESON

One of the first goals of a new Queen­stown and Cen­tral Otago health group is to make it pos­si­ble for peo­ple across the re­gion to re­ceive health care where they want it.

Chair­man of the Cen­tral Lakes Health Net­work John Mac­Don­ald said the num­ber of is­sues the group had to deal with was mas­sive.

How­ever, the net­work was an ‘‘ex­cep­tional’’ group of peo­ple made up of seven lo­cally-based health pro­fes­sion­als and three com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives, who were well placed to make changes.

One of the biggest chal­lenges was in­te­grat­ing the ser­vices be­tween Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal, at Clyde, with Lakes Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal, in Frank­ton, and Wanaka.

‘‘When we look at dif­fer­ent prob­lems we have within the area we keep run­ning into these his­toric [Dis­trict Health Board] bound­aries which no longer ex­ist. It all comes un­der one bucket of money now.’’

The South­land and Otago boards had amal­ga­mated into the South­ern Dis­trict Health Board but peo­ple were still only al­lowed to go to cer­tain hospi­tals, based on the his­toric bound­aries.

The group started meet­ing in June, un­der the um­brella of Al­liance South, an al­liance be­tween the South­ern Dis­trict Health Board and Well­south, which rep­re­sents pri­mary health providers in­clud­ing GPs and phar­ma­cists.

Lakes Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal at Frank­ton.

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