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    Strong concerns for local healthcare outcomes with out-of-region testing proposal

    Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua is expressing concern with the recent proposal to move lab testing services out of the top of the south.

    Pouwhakahaere Shane Graham said the proposal, and the resultant loss of local jobs, was difficult to understand at a time when a key driver of change in the health system was reducing inequality.

    “Improved local delivery of patient-centric health services for Māori was a key driver of the Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora reforms. Contractors should be supporting the intent of these reforms,” he said.

    “Instead, this proposal moves the service further away from patients.”

    “We are concerned that potential delays to urgent health diagnoses and testing results for the people of Te Tauihu could do the exact opposite of the what the reforms are meant to achieve. Despite assurances, we all know that roads close and that couriers do experience delivery delays.

    “We also have concern for staff and their whānau in our region who may be adversely affected by this proposed change, particularly if there is no improvement to the service.

    “Asia Pacific Health Group’s (APHG) rebranding to the name “Awanui” was at least in part designed to reflect the Company’s commitment to improving Māori partnership and participation and a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

    “The transportation of human tissue, and best practice around this has implications for tikanga Māori .

    “A consultation period of one week is unrealistic. There should be no final decision made until we have been given the opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes and for us to provide appropriate feedback.”

    Richard Liddicoat

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    Strong concerns for local healthcare outcomes with out-of-region testing proposal