Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says there’s been good uptake of the $3.76 million support package for Kaikōura and Marlborough families.
“The Government is committed to ensuring the people of Kaikōura and Marlborough can access the health services that they need following the 14 November earthquake,” says Dr Coleman.
“In Kaikōura and Hurunui just over 3,500 residents have accessed free GPs visits. Canterbury DHB’s specialist mental health team have also made just over 300 appointments, including visits with children and families.
“In Marlborough, Ward, Seddon and Kekerengu just over 400 people have accessed free GPs visits. This service is being supported by free mental health care packages which include extended GP visits and three counselling sessions. To date 145 care packages have been prescribed.
“We know that after a serious earthquake, people can feel stressed and anxious for a long time after the event. The psychosocial recovery needs of the communities will change over time.
“To help ensure we’re responding to these changes community workshops are also being held to support families, workplaces and schools in recognising and understanding stress and anxiety.
“Work also continues to expand to the successful All Right? Campaign, which was developed in response to the Canterbury earthquakes, to the Marlborough region.
“I’d like to acknowledge the health staff who continue to do a great job responding to local health needs at a difficult time.”
The $3.76 million package is made up of four key areas; providing free or subsidised GP visits until May, boosting mental health services, hiring additional health practitioners which includes mental health experts and paying the balance of the Kaikōura Health Te Ha o Te Ora health centre.
The support package was designed in consultation with Nelson Marlborough and Canterbury DHBs. It is on top of the $20 million package of initiatives to increase mental health support for Cantabrians announced in March 2016.