Wednesday, 11 May 2022 10:55

'Left in the wilderness'

Written by  Leo Argent
New Zealand Rural General Practitioner's Network chief executive Dr Grant Davidson. New Zealand Rural General Practitioner's Network chief executive Dr Grant Davidson.

The proposed Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill has appalled those serving the health needs of rural New Zealand.

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network (NZRGPN) claims the bill, recently recommended by the Health Select Committee to Parliament for a second reading, has left rural communities "in the wilderness".

In its oral submission to the select committee in January, NZRGPN made a call for rural communities to be identified as a priority population group - alongside Māori, Pacific people and the disabled.

It argued that if the bill didn't highlight a focu on rural communities and hold government agencies accountable for rural health outcomes, the health inequities faced by rural New Zealanders will not improve.

The Pae Ora Bill's purpose is to 'protect, promote and improve the health of all New Zealanders' and achieve equity by reducing health disparities among New Zealand's population groups, in particular Māori.

It claims this will be achieved by providing new legal frameworks and principles for our health system, reforming structures and organisations into Health New Zealand - the new entity that replaces district health boards - in conjunction with iwi groups and a new Māori Health Authority.

However, NZRGPN chief executive Dr Grant Davidson says the inequities in rural health outcomes are as "clear as day" and are even worse for rural Māori.

"For our voices to be ignored again is beyond disappointing and we are increasingly frustrated that rural communities are being overlooked bhy those with the power to effect real change," he says. "For health equity for all New Zealanders, rural communities must be acknowledged as a priority population."

Davidson points out that New Zealand's rural population contributes over 50% of GDP amongst industries from agriculture, tourism and more. He claims that the rural population has been "shafted".

"We thought the situation was now so bad that the health of rural New Zealanders could no longer be ignored. We were obviously wrong!"

More like this

Health reforms should focus on outcomes

National's health spokesman Dr Shane Reti has joined in the chorus of criticism of Labour's health reforms and the fact that 'rural' is not seen as a priority.

Don't forget rural women

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) says it is delighted to see a focus on women’s health in New Zealand.

National

Time's up

Chris Lewis, a Feds national board member and spokesman on immigration and labour issues for the past two years, will…

B+LNZ bosses head to Europe

For the first time since Covid-19 travel restrictions were implemented, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) says it will send…

Deer management funding welcomed

The NZ Game Animal Council (GAC) welcomes the $30 million allocated in Budget 2022 to implement the New Zealand Biodiversity…

Machinery & Products

A new approach to apprenticeships

By taking a new approach to its apprenticeship programme, agricultural equipment supplier Norwood says it is ensuring farmers’ machinery will…

Buck-Rake does the job

With many self-propelled forage harvester manufacturers offering machines hitting 1000hp, the bottleneck in any harvesting system is always likely to…

Pigtail standards made to last

Feedback from farmers highlighted frustration at the time and cost involved in frequently replacing failed pigtail posts.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Done deal

OPINION: This old mutt continues to be flabbergasted by the sheer audacity and mendacious behaviour of the current inhabitants of…

Joined at hip?

OPINION: The Hound suggests if there was any doubt that our so-called farmer industry bodies are little more than a…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter