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Three SW medical clinics to join forces

In a move designed to improve access to healthcare for South Wairarapa’s ageing population, three general practices in the district will be joining forces next year.

From April 1, Featherston Medical and Martinborough Health will be owned by Latitude Health, which already owns Greytown Medical.

The three will become one practice continuing to operate from their current locations. Latitude is a fully-owned charitable subsidiary of Tū Ora Compass Health.

In a statement this week, Tū Ora said the district had an estimated population of well over 11,000 in June. Numbers were set to increase with housing and aged care developments planned.

The combined enrolled population in October for the three practices was 11,915, with more than half over the age of 45.

Almost 27 per cent of patients had high medical needs.

Dr Harsha Dias, a GP and the clinical director at Featherston Medical, said the amalgamation was a positive move. “Sharing resources means we can offer more services to patients across our three locations.

Current patients would continue to receive health care from their current GP or nurse practitioner and don’t need to do anything differently, Dias said.

“As a larger entity, with the backing of Tū Ora, we hope to extend health care services whilst adding resilience to general practice in South Wairarapa.”

Tū Ora is a not for profit organisation which provides primary health care services across the wider Wellington region.

Tū Ora deputy chief executive Mabli Jones said the amalgamation would help to offer a diverse general practice team in South Wairarapa.

“General practice continues to be a very diverse environment that constantly sees new innovative ways to support our populations’ health needs.

“This can be hard in rural areas such as South Wairarapa when smaller practices are operating independently. Joining forces means these key resources can be shared throughout the three practices, opening support opportunities for patients who may not have been able to access certain care before,” she said.

The Tu Ora statement said all three practices had suffered workforce constraints for clinical and non-clinical staff.

-NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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