Te Whare Taumata o te Matauranga Pūtaiao Hangarau contribute an informed and united rural allied health perspective to Hauora Taiwhenua.
In our work, we support and implement actions that contribute to the sustainability of rural allied health, scientific and technical professionals, and their teams.
We advocate for the recruitment, training and education of the rural allied health, scientific and technical health workforce.
We also advocate for sustainable funding and working conditions for the rural allied health, scientific and technical health workforce.
Sarah Walker is an experienced physiotherapist working in rural Central Otago. For a number of years Sarah has practiced clinically across inpatient, outpatient, and community settings and led the co-ordination of MoH funded physiotherapy services across Central Otago.
Recently, Sarah has shifted into the clinical-academic world after receiving a Health Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellowship. In her joint appointment, Sarah continues her clinical work through Central Otago Health Services Ltd at Dunstan Hospital, whilst completing her PhD through the University of Otago. Sarah’s research is centered around defining what it is to be an allied health professional in rural New Zealand. Her research currently focuses around the role allied health professionals have in rural areas, and seeks to explore the scope of practice held by these rural clinicians. This research contributes knowledge to support the development of specific training for health care professionals, to ensure that rural communities are provided with a skilled and relevant health workforce to meet their needs.
On behalf of Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ) I am delighted to support the development of the allied health and scientific chapter of Hauora Taiwhenua. We know that the health professionals working in rural and remote locations have much to teach their urban peers about transdisciplinary care and working at the top of scope, whilst never forgetting their professional roots.
With New Zealand on the verge of its biggest health transformation in a generation and the inclusion of rural communities as a priority population in the Pae Ora Act it is fitting to have a cross-profession approach to improving health outcomes.
-Sandra Kirby, CEO Physiotherapy New Zealand
Allied Health Professions encompasses a broad group of professionals who work with and alongside our nursing and medical colleagues. In a rural environment, access to care is even more critical, reinforcing the need to operate as a network or as a team. Looking to the future, this is the potential, to enhance how the pharmacist liaises more with the physiotherapist and the GP as care is coordinated to better meet the need of the person in their context. No one professional group holds the answer, rather it is by enhancing the ‘how’ of working together. By acknowledging Allied Health as part of the care network, there is the opportunity for these workforces to become a ‘multiplier’ to the care that can be provided to our rural and remote communities.
-Dr Martin Chadwick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer