An update from Dr Jeremy Webber, our Clinical Director Rural Health

It was great to connect with some of you at GP22 last month and getting to see Te Pae Convention Centre has me more enthused about our National Rural Health Conference in a few weeks.

Our sector’s pursuit for health improvement continues particularly with my secondment to HealthNZ to work on the primary, community and rural stream until June 2023. This role essentially is an extension of my Hauora Taiwhenua work to date, and now I’ll have more direct input to HealthNZ.

As well as providing rural clinical input across all streams, I have been tasked with specific focus around extended community care. Early access to point of care diagnostics, enabling clinical work at top of scope and extending health pathways for all clinicians. This ensures that our rural voice is incorporated throughout the early action intent of HealthNZ.

Our focus on workforce is ever present, and is reflected with prominence in the rural conference program. Many stakeholders are chipping away at the rural clinical training pipeline from undergraduate into vocational training and we continue to agitate for this as the main priority for rural.

Locality development is slowly building steam and closely linked with primary, community and rural stream above.

My highlight of the month is seeing the pride of our newly minted rural hospital and general practice fellows and particularly the sense of community reflected in their individual acknowledgements.