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Mobile surgical services contract extended

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the renewal of the mobile surgical services contract will help ensure rural patients continue to receive the care they need.

The mobile surgical bus visits 24 rural towns during a five week cycle. Taumarunui in the Waikato DHB district is one of those. A range of services are provided from paediatric dentistry to colonoscopies and hernia repairs.

“Delivering health services closer to home is a priority for the Government. The mobile surgical bus gives rural New Zealanders access to low risk elective surgery without having to travel to a city hospital,” says Dr Coleman.

“I welcome the renewal of the mobile surgical services contract for a further three years to mid-2018.

“To date approximately 20,000 New Zealanders have been treated on the mobile surgical bus, and health professionals have received over 45,000 hours of education.

“The contract renewal follows an independent review which found the service helps DHBs maintain patient waiting times and improves access to services for rural patients, particularly those with high health needs or who face barriers to accessing care.

“The review also found the professional development training provided to rural health professionals was relevant and engaging. The interactive digital video equipment enables collaboration with health professionals in other parts of the country and overseas.”

The review by Sapere Research was commissioned by the Ministry of Health to look at the impacts of mobile surgical services and rural professional development. The report can be found at: www.health.govt.nz/publications

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