Elder issues raised at health forum

Peter Foley
Peter Foley
More than 30 Wakatipu residents raised issues of elderly care, rest-home facilities and transfers to Invercargill Hospital and voiced concern over which sector would manage the proposed integrated family health centre, with the National Health Board (NHB) on Friday.

NHB panel chairman Dr Peter Foley, of Napier, and panellists consumer advocate David Russell and Canterbury professor of emergency medicine Mike Ardagh, attended the first of three community drop-in forums, in the St John Wakatipu meeting room, in Frankton.

Christchurch Hospital emergency department clinical director Dr Angela Pitchford will return from leave and rejoin the panel this week.

Dr Foley said residents asked the panel if Queenstown healthcare suffered from servicing tourists and if visitors were paying their share. The panel explained the ACC process which catered for tourists.

The panel was looking at maternity workforce and resourcing and how publicly- and privately-funded midwives could work together in better ways for patients.

Panellists talked to Public Health South medical officer of health Dr Derek Bell and asked pharmacists for their insights.

The panel met doctors and nurses from the Lakes District Hospital again on Thursday, for two hours, Dr Foley said.

"They're very grateful for the way we're interacting with them and we're coming up with potential solutions. We're now four-and-a-bit weeks into our listening process and we're starting to put some scenarios to people as 'What ifs', to get feedback on specific things.

"Overall, the panel is very pleased with the way the community is engaged with us and the feedback at this stage is very positive."

The panel will meet the Southern DHB in Dunedin, then staff including the chief medical officer from Dunedin Hospital, this week. It will be available in the Wakatipu again, in the Queenstown Lakes District Council meeting room, this Friday, from 10am to 12.30pm, to discuss hospital services.

The third forum will be held in the council meeting room on July 22, from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. The theme will be general practice and community health service.



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