By ROBYN BRISTOW
Rangiora’s after hours facility should begin to take shape in January.
The facility will provide seven-day urgent care from 8am to 10pm, and will also house other services, including a pharmacy and radiology services,’
A concept design was presented to a public meeting in Rangiora last week by new Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) chief executive, Peter Bramley.
Dr Bramley said the board was committed to providing the facility as he gave an overview of health services in the Waimakariri.
Health services will include maintaining beds at Oxford Hospital, and resourcing the hospital to provide care for people close to home.
Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey, who organised the meeting, says the after hours concept plan is “quite stunning”.
He says South Link Health has confirmed it plans to start construction in January.
“Unfortunately it comes at the expense of the Rangiora Hospital being demolished,” he says.
Dr Bramley also committed to a paramedic service for the Waimakariri area.
“It is important living in an area like the Waimakariri district, that you have access to public service education or health services, that are comparable to people living in major urban areas,” says Mr Doocey. “People should not be penalised for living in rural areas.”
The CDHB is keen to engage further with Waimakariri residents following the old-style, robust town hall meeting, at which around 200 people turned out at last Thursday, despite the rain.
Mr Doocey says residents and CDHB representatives were excited about the level of community engagement the meeting provided, and which raised not only concerns, but some great ideas.
“I’m thrilled that this has sparked an ongoing conversation the CDHB will be having directly with our community about creating wrap-around services for our residents.
“They’ve taken the concerns that were raised and will be coming back with some ideas that they will workshop directly with us as a community, and that is very exciting,” Mr Doocey says.
“This puts our residents at the heart of our health services.
“Many of those who attended are working in our community health and aged-care sectors in Waimakariri, and they were able to bring some of their concerns about in-community care and to feed those concerns through,” says Mr Doocey.