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National has put forward a series of proposals to improve the health of rural communities, National’s Rural Communities spokesperson Matt King says.

“New Zealanders living in isolated, rural areas deserve access to the support they need.

“The practical changes proposed in National’s recently-released health discussion document will help address this.

“We’re proposing a pilot of mobile rural health clinics to provide a ‘warrant of fitness’ health check for patients who have to travel long distances for healthcare.

“To solve New Zealand’s shortage of rural GPs we’re proposing a third medical school that is focused on their recruitment and retention. This will ensure a steady stream of GPs who have the skills and knowledge to deal with the challenges of rural communities.

“We’re also proposing to boost funding for important organisations like the Rural Health Alliance, which play a big role in rural mental health provision.

“Rural communities are isolated and their occupants are working hard in often stressful professions. It’s important they are supported with access to quality healthcare and assistance.”

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