July 26, 2018
Ngāti Ruanui keeps medical centre alive
Ngāti Ruanui has bought the Patea Medical Centre in a bid to maintain medical services in south Taranaki.
The centre was set up by the Patea and District Community Medical Trust in 1991 when the town's general practitioner left, but it has been without a permanent doctor for the past year.
Ngāti Ruanui Holdings chair Debbie Ngārewa-Packer says the company intends to staff the centre with a mix of Ngāti Ruanui doctors and locums.
For the past year Ngāti Ruanui has been part of Kaitaia doctor Lance O'Sullivan's MaiHealth virtual health model partnership, which has worked for patients with straightforward medical needs.
Patients needing more thorough medical attention have been travelling as far as Hawera and Whanganui for treatment when a doctor has not been available.
Mrs Ngārewa-Packer says the purchase is part of an economic investment strategy aimed at building a healthy productive, innovative, export-orientated regional economy that will support better paying jobs and better quality of life.
Patea Medical Trust chair Brett Honeyfield says supervision requirements for overseas qualified practitioners excluded many good doctors, and the lack of back-up and collegial support available to a sole-charge doctor in a small town can be off-putting to potential candidates.
Ngāti Ruanui will be able to provide that supervision and support.
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