Can­di­date ‘voice of hope’

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - YVETTE BAT­TEN

Change is com­ing to the health sys­tem in New Zealand, and so is sig­nif­i­cant ra­tioning.

Af­ter more than 20 years as a doc­tor, both in Aus­tralia and New Zealand, Dr Rose Bruce is the only med­i­cal doc­tor stand­ing for the Taranaki Dis­trict Health Board.

‘‘We need to have a voice of hope, not of de­spair.’’ She wants to use her knowl­edge of the health sys­tem to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence.

‘‘At the mo­ment in New Zealand we have reached what you can call a tsunami of un­met needs.’’

Dr Bruce is talk­ing about the baby boomers, and the lack of med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als in the health sys­tem avail­able to help them, which is cre­at­ing a bot­tle­neck for care. Add to that the gen­eral trend to­wards fi­nan­cial cut­backs and fewer med­i­cal pro­fes­sional bod­ies on the ground in all the care ser­vices, and there’s al­ready a real prob­lem.

‘‘I think that we have to ac­knowl­edge that there is go­ing to be some form of ra­tioning. That ra­tioning has to be kind. I think we need to find ways to of­fer help that are rel­e­vant to that per­son [the pa­tient] with their story,’’ she said.

‘‘The ser­vices that need to hap­pen need to be com­pletely dif­fer­ent from what we’ve got on the ground now.

‘‘That’s why I’m stand­ing for the DHB, be­cause what we cur­rently have isn’t go­ing to ex­ist. It’s scary what the dif­fer­ence could be.’’

New Zealand’s fu­ture health sys­tem is star­ing down the bar­rel of more pri­vati­sa­tion, and could in­clude things like what’s hap­pen­ing in Amer­ica, where pa­tients video call their doc­tor. ’’We’re go­ing to have to do more with less and we’re go­ing to have to of­fer our ser­vices in dif­fer­ent shapes and forms. That needs to be done in such a way that we sup­port ex­ist­ing staff who are feel­ing ex­hausted.’’

Dr Bruce is a mother of twins and works at MediCross Ur­gent Care and GP Clinic in New Ply­mouth. Within her ca­reer she has more than 10 years of work­ing within emer­gency de­part­ments up her sleeve.

Par­tic­u­lar is­sues she’d like to tackle, to lessen the bur­den on the pub­lic health sys­tem, is smok­ing and the com­mu­nity’s prob­lem with al­co­hol.

‘‘We haven’t got the time, the en­ergy, or the money to deal with the fall­out.’’

YVETTE BAT­TEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Dr Rose Bruce is stand­ing for the Taranaki Dis­trict Health Board.

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