Health restructure leaving rural GPs and nurses in the dark

Rural communities across the country will lose out under Labour’s radical health restructure, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“National believes our health system should fundamentally be based around need, those who have the greatest need receive the greatest resources.

“New Zealand’s rural communities are an essential part of New Zealand and face unique health challenges, but Labour has failed to put forward how its health restructure will benefit our small rural communities and their GPs.

“In any major merger or centralisation it’s the small communities who lose their voice, but they’re the ones who best know what works for them when it comes to keeping their people healthy.

“It’s widely known that already our rural communities are losing out. There’s a limited number of rural GPs and nurses across the country but there’s no mention from Labour how its restructure will directly impact them.

“Rather than investing the hundreds of millions of dollars this restructure will likely cost into our primary care, our rural GPs and nurses, Labour is more interested in investing in bureaucracy and more Wellington bureaucrats.”

“National campaigned last year on addressing rural health issues by tendering for a third medical school focused on retaining GPs in rural areas, progressing digital health solutions for remote areas and making sure there is better recording of rural health data.

“We were also committed to addressing rural mental health issues by partnering with Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand to provide life-saving mental health and suicide prevention workshops in our rural communities.

“National is committed to fighting for our rural GPs and nurses. They deserve to know how this restructure will impact them.”