The Eastern Bay of Plenty is one of the poorest and most deprived rural areas of New Zealand. Forty six percent identify as Maori and we span a large geographic area with equally large pockets of isolation and poor access. There is a commitment to develop a district approach to lift the health and wellness of our local iwi and communities. The creation of Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance is the first step of the journey.
We are committed to a greater level of collaboration than has been used in the past to build on other’s strengths and to make the best use of resources. It is recognised that Maori health status is behind others and services are often fragmented.
On-going financial stability will require a fundamental shift to different models of care that are both effective and less costly. Lifestyles, social determinants and ageing of the Eastern Bay of Plenty population means more people with multiple co-morbidities and that an integrated approach is required. This growth in complexity requires services that will be able to co-ordinate multiple care pathways.
An ageing workforce is placing pressure on services and more resources are needed; much could be gained by improving the use of resources that already exist through different patterns of practice.
We believe a truly regional approach delivered locally will reduce fragmentation, build capability, build on respective strengths, ensure viability, and provide a better platform for service integration and a shared voice to enable better engagement across primary, community, secondary and other services outside of health.