Year of action for health services
Next year will be a year of action with Ka¯ piti residents given better access to health services, Kapiti Health Advocacy Group (KHAG) chairwoman Kathy Spiers said.
The group, initiated by Ka¯ piti mayor K Gurunathan two years ago and led by Ms Spiers, has worked with council, Mid Central District Health Board (MCDHB) and Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) to identify key priorities for Ka¯ piti.
“Improved transport options, including access for people with mobility issues and urgent accident and medical care here in Ka¯ piti are our top priorities,” Ms Spiers said.
“Others include improved mental health services and care for older people and families.”
In September, the CCDHB Health Systems Committee met in Ka¯ piti and the KHAG team was delighted to see these priorities have been picked up by the Committee looking to develop a specific Locality Plan for Ka¯ piti.
“This reflects the close working relationship we have had with CCDHB and the confidence they have in KHAG to work with the community to identify their needs.”
Next year KHAG will evolve into a smaller advisory group with three large forums to be held in May, September and December and will continue working with Mr Gurunathan, the council and the DHBs to finalise the Ka¯ piti Locality Plan. “2019 will be a year of action.
“We achieved some great wins in 2018 with CCDHB setting up a transport link between Porirua Station and the Kenepuru Shuttle.
“They have agreed to provide two representatives to our advisory group and two of our members will be part of their team working on their locality plan.”
Mr Gurunathan said the 22,000 strong Hospital Petition led by Sue Emerali had turbo charged public awareness of the poor access to health services in Ka¯ piti.
“It sent a clear message to the health boards and the politicians.
“While we pursue the long-term case for a community hospital for Ka¯ piti through formal channels we need immediate solutions to many of our problems.
“I congratulate Kathy, and her team of dedicated volunteers, who have chalked up significant progress.
“We can look forward to much improved health services for Ka¯ piti people over the next two to three years.”