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Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey is disappointed by Government’s refusal to fund the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and says the decision leaves rural communities out in the cold.

“The Rural Health Alliance provides a safety net for our rural communities through its suicide prevention workshops and by boosting access to health services. Physical isolation can make it harder for rural residents to engage with health services. Unlike in our urban centres, they often can’t access help close to their homes.

“We see in Waimakariri how our rural communities underpin our local economy. When our farmers do well, our region benefits. Health is no different. We need our rural communities to have good wellbeing – this issue is bigger than rural-urban divides. By refusing funding at this time, Government is sending a clear message around how it values the wellbeing of our rural communities,” Doocey said.

Around 600,000 people were supported by the Rural Health Alliance, Doocey said.

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