Year of ac­tion for health ser­vices

Kapiti News - - News -

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.”

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