Rural health dead in the water

Rural Exchange 29/04/2018

Earlier this month, Minister for Agriculture Damien O’Connor turned down a plea from the Rural Health Alliance of NZ (RHAANZ) for $600,000 of funding to keep the body operating.

The organisation says its future now hangs in the balance as it contemplates what its next steps are.

RHAANZ chairman, Dr Martin London joined Rural Exchange to address the death of the organisation due to lack of support from the new government.

CEO Michelle Thompson has stepped down and Dr London said this situation is symbolic of the government’s lack of support and understanding of rural communities health services.

"There's no doubt in our minds, and in the minds of the rural community, of the value of having [RHAANZ]," Dr London told RadioLIVE.

But the underfunding of rural health services is nothing new.

It's just the flow on effect of under-resourcing of rural

From sponsors and membership, RHAANZ has less than $200,000 a year to run the organisation, not enough for an organisation whose assistance is spread across the furthest reaches of New Zealand.

Watch the full interview with Dr Martin London above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.