Rural health trust gets under way

About $10,000 in donations has already been received for the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust after it was established earlier this year in memory of the Queenstown GP, who died last year.

Trust chairman and Dr Farry's brother John Farry said the trust deed had been completed and approved and charitable status had also been granted, with a "major, ongoing fund-raising campaign" being developed.

"The trust is finding its feet; it takes a bit of time to come up with fund-raising ideas and put them in motion, but the progress made so far is testimony to how far it has come in a year.

"Trustees are also looking at how best to utilise an annual $5000 donation from the Queenstown Medical Centre in a manner that fulfils their wishes as well as the objectives of the trust," Mr Farry said.

The $5000 may be used to fund undergraduate or postgraduate rural medical students to further their studies overseas - possibly through an Australian rural medical programme at Monash or Flinders university.

The trust was officially launched at this year's New Zealand Rural General Practice Networks conference in Christchurch.

Trustees were also looking at various fund-raising opportunities, including a rural health education bus, which could be used as an office or consulting room for rural students.

Other options included a "Pat Farry Walk" or trail, which people could traverse for a gold coin donation; an art auction; and applying to various community trusts and corporates for funding.

The trust hoped to eventually raise about $4 million to $5 million to fulfil its overall objectives to support the sustainability and quality of health services to rural communities.


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