Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network is committed to listening, questioning, and having conversations about issues that impact on the health and wellbeing of rural health and rural communities.
Through our Chapters and their representatives on Council, we identify key issues, source data and information.
Together, we have established a reputation for being a credible, solution focused voice of rural health. This provides a strong platform for discussions with Government and the Ministry of Health, Immigration, and Business Innovation and Employment. It enables us to take a broad and inclusive view of health and wellbeing in rural communities to health sector advisory groups and committees, government working groups. We are often invited to cast a rural lens across Government initiatives or make submissions on policy or decisions that impact on rural communities.
During February and March, it was my absolute pleasure to work with about 40 members from across our chapters to develop our written submission for Manatū Hauora’s Women’s Health Strategy.
As one of the six strategies that result from the Pae Ora Act, this was a unique opportunity to make a bold contribution supported by population data derived from applying the Geographic Classification for Health to Census 2028 statistics. All with the end goal that of improving the health and wellbeing of women who live and work in rural Aotearoa NZ.
About 40 people from across all of our Chapters agreed that we would structure our submission on a simple question: what significance does living rurally have in determining the health outcomes of girls and women?
Here are the closing recommendations we made in our Submission
Health outcomes for rural women can only be improved if it is recognised that health care pathways must be based on the principle that ‘any door is the right door’ whether a woman accesses services through their GP, Māori Health Provider, school clinic, physio or social services.
Addressing these issues will require a bold and innovative strategy that:
And most importantly:
→ Click here to read the full submission ←
This will mean that Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora will need to develop a specific rural health plan and be measured against outcomes against the plan.
We have negotiated an increase in PRIME funding for those practices with PRIME contracts to be paid for medical emergencies for the first time ever.
We have contributed to the writing of the rural section of the Interim Health Plan.
The Interim Health Plan will have a commitment to a complete review of PRIME and afterhours care / contracts to make it fit-for-purpose and sustainable going forward.
We are currently working with Te Whatu Ora to build a rural after-hours and emergency telehealth system which will help reduce the burden on the understaffed rural workforce
We have negotiated funding for our Rural Health Careers Promotion Programme to tour rural schools and kura Kaupapa to promote rural health careers to young people in those schools.
We are currently working on a rural workforce plan (co-designed by the sector) that we will be advocating for with the Minister and the Health Agencies to implement.