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The number of signatures is rapidly growing for the petition for an after-hours medical-care facility for Waimakariri based at the Rangiora Health Hub.

Waimakariri is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country and our growth is expected to continue. We have increasing numbers of young families moving into our area and we have a growing population of seniors who are choosing to make their home in Waimakariri. It makes sense to many of us that we would be eligible for after-hours health provision closer to where we live.

Like others, I had been disappointed to hear that the trigger for locating an after-hours health service was based on drive times to the existing 24-Hour Surgery in Christchurch, rather than taking into account our population growth. I believe that, with our large population growth, Waimakariri is deserving of its own after-hours health provision.

As local MP, I see my role as fighting for infrastructure solutions to match our growth and I’m proud to be supporting Sandi McLean as she petitions the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) for an after-hours facility at the health hub. You can sign the electronic petition at www.mattdoocey.national.org.nz and Sandi and I have also launched the petition at our local libraries for those who are not able to access the petition online. Many of our older residents have welcomed this option.

At the health meeting I held previously, bringing the CDHB to Rangiora to hear our residents’ concerns, they made a commitment to an expansion of after-hours services for Waimakariri, looking at a pilot, nurse-led, after-hours service operating from the health hub. From this meeting, they went forward to work with our health-care community to look at what a pilot model would look like.

I have asked the CDHB to come back for another public meeting to update our community on the next steps and Sandi’s petition is very timely. It’s important that we keep the pressure on and I encourage everyone to sign the petition.

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