The Takitimu Primary Health Organisation (PHO) had their annual general meeting last night in Tuatapere. It was well-attended by folks from the district, but I do believe it needs to be better advertised. An organisation that is supposed to be closely collaborating with the community on primary health needs to let that community know when it is holding its meetings.
But that aside, there were a few things said at the meeting that seemed very positive. 1) they are keenly aware that we have a transportation problem, i.e. that people find it difficult to get to their appointments at Southland Hospital either because they have no car or can't physically drive; they propose that the medical trusts in each community or anyone who has a clever idea, submit their plan to the PHO for consideration. This is a problem we can solve so let's do it! 2) the PHO has a surplus of money this year that could be used for new health initiatives. They are already funding an initiative for fruit in schools at Takitimu Primary. There was talk about healthy homes insulation etc. 3) Maori health is getting attention through the formation of a new group of Maori representatives from each PHO in Murihiku. With Maori health outcomes being poorer than non-Maori, it's good to see something is being done.
What I'd like to see happen is that the various medical centres in the Takitimu area become networked so that nurses and doctors who are relieving on the weekends in areas that aren't normally theirs can have access to patient records and give more personalised advice. I don't think that happens now. Anything to help on-call medical personnel to do their job would be worth doing imho.
It's hard to know if people are any healthier than they were three years ago when the PHO started, but I am noticing that there are more health days for the community to get checks without having to go to the doctor. That's got to be a good thing.
You can find out more about the Takitimu PHO by going to their website: http://www.takitimupho.org.nz/ or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org