Health hubs for future?
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.’’