Health hubs for fu­ture?

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Pa­tients will be en­rolled in ‘‘am­bu­la­tory care hubs’’ with net­work ar­range­ments to community clin­ics and providers, un­der a new model of health ser­vice de­liv­ery around Otago and South­land.

South­ern Dis­trict Health Board chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Flem­ing, Wel­lSouth chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Macara and South­ern Dis­trict Health Board’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, strat­egy, pri­mary and community di­rec­torate Lisa Ge­stro de­liv­ered a pri­mary and community ac­tion plan at a fo­rum in Cromwell on Thurs­day at­tended by about 50 peo­ple from around the Queen­stown Lakes and Cen­tral Otago districts.

Ge­stro said about 400 peo­ple from around Otago and South­land had at­tended the fo­rums to give feed­back on the pro­posed ac­tion plan which was a part­ner­ship ap­proach to de­liver a ‘‘clear di­rec­tion and path­way’’ for a 2030 vi­sion of care in the dis­trict.

Ge­stro said the South­ern Dis­trict Health Board and Wel­lsouth were not an­tic­i­pat­ing a ’’tweak­ing the mar­gins’’ with its ac­tion plan but cre­at­ing ‘‘steep change’’ around how health ser­vices would be funded and pro­vided.

‘‘Don’t for a minute think this won’t be very dif­fer­ent than how it has been pre­vi­ously. We have gone big.’’

The pro­posed con­cept would have gen­eral prac­ti­tioner clin­ics and aged res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­i­ties, and the like, work­ing in a broader sys­tem than they cur­rently were.

‘‘They all cur­rently are work­ing away in ‘is­lands of ex­cel­lence’ but are not linked into a broader sys­tem . . . The no­tion is your jour­ney is much more cir­cu­lar as it cur­rently is lin­ear. It’s ge­o­graph­i­cally based and much more sup­port­ing that no­tion of pri­mary care to do more.‘‘

The con­cept was al­ready go­ing on ‘‘in pock­ets’’ around the re­gion but it was not a sys­tem, she said.

‘‘It is go­ing to need to be a huge driver and we are go­ing to need gen­eral prac­tise to work in quite dif­fer­ent ways if they are to be ac­cept­ing of this model and for it to be re­ally suc­cess­ful.’’

Cromwell Fam­ily Prac­tice’s Dr Greg White said he was ‘‘scep­ti­cal’’ about how the model would work.

‘‘About 10 years ago we at­tempted this with in­te­grated fam­ily health. We tried to set that up and it was shot down in flames. We were told we were too small and it wasn’t worth both­er­ing with.’’

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Lisa Ge­stro.

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