Candidate ‘voice of hope’
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.’’
Dr Rose Bruce is standing for the Taranaki District Health Board.