Hub health vision being put forward

BY CATE BROUGHTON
Last updated 05:00 09/02/2013

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Healthcare advocate Paula Thackwell says she is very confident a 24-hour health service will be restored to North Canterbury as part of the proposed health hub.


Ms Thackwell said she was advocating for a service similar to the Bealey Ave 24-hour clinic, but with paramedics and nurses instead of doctors.


She is part of a Canterbury District Health Board group working group developing the health hub in Rangiora.


There had been much discussion about the location of the hub, and the provision of out-of-hours medical services, she said.The withdrawal of doctors from the discussion had led to an exploration of other options.


''Doctors are not involved, they have shut us out and I'm disappointed they have not come out of the closet.


''So we have opened our thinking for planning for the future.''


The use of St John paramedics and nurses at the health hub would be more cost-effective than the current triage system, Ms Thackwell said. A phone service is currently used for after-hours patients, and local paramedics can attend if deemed necessary.


However Ms Thackwell said being diagnosed over the phone by a nurse in Auckland was not satisfactory.


Having medical staff available at the health hub would save on transport costs.


''We are constantly reminding the health hub committee that our population is increasing and we need to put in place a health service to grow with that need,'' she said.

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- Fairfax Media

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