Trust's clients a priority for board

Last updated 15:02 29/11/2012

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Clients of Te Rapuora Maori Health trust will have support from other health providers when the trust closes at the end of the year, the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board says.

The trust announced on Friday that it will close on December 31 because of financial problems.

The largest Maori health provider in Marlborough, it has 505 individual and whanau clients in Marlborough and 192 in Nelson.

The board's Maori health director Harold Wereta said yesterday the board had met Maori health organisations on Tuesday and discussed with them what they could do to provide support for Te Rapuora's clients.

Clients were a priority for the board, along with finding a new health provider to take over from the trust, he said. "We would like to reassure all clients and the Nelson Marlborough community that there will be services for the clients of Te Rapuora Trust after December 31. We are working with all providers to get the best services for clients."

Board chairwoman Jenny Black said it was part of the health board's obligation under the Health and Disability Act to ensure all clients have continued access to health services.

Te Rapuora o te Waiharakeke trust manager Aroha Metcalf said the trust had decided to close because it was unable to balance its books after a series of funders changed or did not renew contracts.

The trust had been unsuccessful with an application for increased funding from the Ministry of Health, while costs kept rising, she said.

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- The Marlborough Express


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