Rural Southland GPs eye funding boost
Struggling rural GPs in Southland and Otago are eager to receive a portion of the extra $9 million allocated by the Ministry of Health for rural health services.
Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew said $8m would be given to support the retention of rural health specialists and rural services over the next four years.
A further $1m is allocated to improve rural funding models.
University of Otago rural medical immersion programme director Dr Branko Sijnja said he believed the funding was a good decision, given 40 per cent of practices in the Southern District Health Board were classified rural.
"For the first time ever we are seeing practices going broke."
Funding proportions will be determined by individual District Health Board population demographics, remote rural issues, and the prior rural funding allocation.
The new funding comes after a review of the rural ranking score used by the ministry, DHBs and the New Zealand rural general practice network.
Southern Primary Health Organisation chief executive Ian Macara said under the previous ranking score Southland GPs struggled with retention of qualified staff, after hours care and the support and infrastructure of primary care.
"We think the new funding approach ... is the most appropriate and will help us address local needs."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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