Multimillion-dollar plan to put health services all under one roof
A proposed multimillion-dollar "one-stop shop" for healthcare in Morrinsville was unveiled to Matamata-Piako District Council last week.
Greg Dodunski, an occupational therapist in the town for the past seven years, said a Health Connect Centre could involve local health professionals including GPs, pharmacists and physiotherapists all working independently under one roof.
This would offer benefits to patients through shorter waiting lists, reduced travel time and costs to receive treatment and greater access to services for rural areas, he said.
Mr Dodunski said it was about working smarter. "The focus would be on local needs."
The privately funded centre, which cost up to $10 million, could also offer a 24/7 accident and emergency clinic, while local GPs would retain their personal service.
"It would bring local groups together," said Mr Dodunski. "There is some overlap [at present]. This would connect health services and support networks."
The centre could include therapists, rehabilitation service providers and other health professionals.
Mr Dodunski said a community healthcare centre would also provide business opportunities and employment.
In recent years, delivering more efficient and convenient services closer to home has become a priority for district health boards, public health organisations and the Government, Mr Dodunski said. But increasing patient demand and ever-tightening budgets had added "significant pressure" on hospital staff and resources.
"Large numbers of patients coming to a single central location for treatment puts immense stress on hospital facilities," he said. "It also carries a significant financial and emotional cost for patients who travel long distances or take time off work."
For the health sector, Mr Dodunski said a Morrinsville centre would mean a more efficient allocation of funds and resources, a reduced vehicle fleet and travel costs, decreased administration workload, a more flexible service to meet specific needs and better use of community resources.
Speaking to Fairfax Media after last Wednesday's council meeting, Mr Dodunski said he had been toying with the idea for a number of years.
The biggest issue he faces is finding a suitable site for the centre. Once that is secured, a concept plan for the centre would be developed.
Mr Dodunski is still consulting with local health services involved and welcomes constructive feedback.
Those interested in the project can call Mr Dodunski on 889 6451, email email@example.com or visit healthconnectcentre.co.nz.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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