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Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says residents received an early Christmas present at his public meeting on Monday to review health-service provision in the Waimak.

“At the meeting, Carolyn Gullery, GM for Planning and Funding at the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), announced they are looking at potential new models of after-hours health provision for Waimakariri and Hurunui in light of changes in service usage Canterbury-wide since 2011. This is great news for our community,” Doocey said.

An initialising workshop to be held as early as 14 December would start the process of planning and shaping what that provision would look like, Doocey said. “Some of the ideas that came up on Monday included a centralised booking system with GPs to offer after-hours provision and video consultations with a health provider at the other end of a television screen.  All options are on the table.

“The CDHB said it’s time for a rethink, building on the success of its mixed-model system. Our paramedic service is doing really well and the CDHB’s integrated health system is helping to keep people at home and out of hospital, with a range of successful models that are being picked up in other areas.”

Doocey said statistics delivered at the meeting showed primary-health models like the Waimakariri paramedic service, where experienced paramedics visited residents at home, were resulting in less bed stays through the emergency system.

“Residents need to keep using the triage system by phoning their own GP’s rooms,” Doocey said. “I have been assured planning discussions will involve our community and we look forward to hearing more about this exciting development.”

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