“We see retirement ambitions and more than 50 percent will retire in the next five to 10 years so there is a looming crisis.
“We need 200-400 new GPS that are trained and ready to be used in the next few years to break this permit – this is a big problem.”
Last month, owned by the government Review of Health and Disability Systems found the country’s health system under “serious pressure” and provided a series of recommendations to overhaul it all.
Davidson said when he welcomed the report’s findings that access to health services for rural communities was “unacceptable”, those who live in remote areas of the country have long known that.
“It’s time to do something about it. The government now gets a report, it’s time to act. So we want to see some action and not just words,” Davidson told Rural Exchange.
Last week the rural maternity sector received a $ 242 million boost to help him reach speed, but Davidson said that more was needed.
“Many of these things will not be a quick fix, in terms of rural health workers who are trained and want to work in rural areas – it is a long-term improvement.
“But the first thing they need to do there is to actually develop a training system that is suitable for rational purposes, that it is based rationally, is rationally trained and the people live in the rural areas.”
One thing that, according to him, could be overcome immediately was to improve the wage gap between rural doctors and nurses and those who worked in urban centers.
“These things can be improved by funding to the right place,” Davidson said.
He also said the network of rural hospitals in the country was very important for those living in remote communities.
“You have to get that support from your family and whānau, so if you can be treated as far as possible in your area or not far away it really increases access to health services and for whana and family can support you while you are getting that service. So the network 30 to 40 rural hospitals throughout the country are very important. “
Another important part of rural health services is ambulance services.
But with St John announcing last month it faces a $ 30 million financial hole and will cut 100 jobs, there are concerns over the impact it will have on rural communities.
James Stewart, manager of St John’s national operations, said many of the staff serving the rural community were volunteers.
“St John is very important for New Zealand, especially in rural and remote areas where our ambulance officers – many of whom are volunteers – are rescuers,” Stewart told Rural Exchange.
“They have a big impact on their community. Our front-line ambulance officers are in a privileged position to go to people’s homes and be by their side at their worst times.”
Because ambulances are often difficult to come from distant places, rural volunteers are often important when needed, he said.
“Rural and remote communities have a special community ethos – we all jostle and help your neighbors because help from a paid crew will take time.”
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