The representation of rural health is set to change with the establishment of a new collective.
Starting June 28, the Rural General Practice Network will transition to a new collective organization called Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network.
It comprises nine different organisations, including Rural Nurses NZ and The Rural Midwifery and Maternity Service.
The network’s chief executive, Grant Davidson, said the collective organization will help create a united and trusted voice for rural health.
“In the health sector there are a plethora of organizations and it is sometimes difficult to know who is doing what, so over the last few years we have come to the conclusion that a number of us are all involved in delivering better outcomes for rural communities and the people who live there, so it makes sense to come together.
“Our goal, our vision, is to have really strong rural communities with good health and welfare services, so to do that we have to advocate with government and work with government agencies to get better processes , systems and funding.
Davidson said the new collective would have a strong Maori influence.
“It’s really important because there are a disproportionate number of Maori in rural communities, and often they have the worst health outcomes.
“We are truly committed to ensuring that all people in rural areas have equitable health outcomes.”