Further support for North Canterbury & MarlboroughHealth
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced an additional $500,000 investment to boost the post-earthquake support package for North Canterbury and Marlborough families.
“The Government is committed to ensuring the people of North Canterbury and Marlborough can access the health services that they need following the 14 November earthquake,” says Dr Coleman.
“We know that after a serious earthquake, people can feel stressed and anxious for a long time after the event. The psychosocial recovery needs of the communities will change over time.
“The initial support package was deliberately short term to allow immediate assistance, this boost takes into account the communities’ wider needs.
“Feedback shows that the initiative to provide free GP visits in affected areas has proved of great value and I am keen to continue to support this free service.
“We are also taking steps to help strengthen and support the local schools and offering targeting assistance to the rural communities.”
The additional $500,000 investment takes the total relief package to $4.26 million, and the extra money will fund:
- $250,000 for quake-related free GP visits in Kaikōura, Hurunui and Marlborough.
- $100,000 to further develop the successful All Right? to have a rural focus, this in-turn will become part of a national resource.
- $100,000 targeted support for Marlborough schools to help strengthen resilience and support for staff and students.
- $50,000 for the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand for the North Canterbury and Top of the South Rural Support Trusts to assist people’s access to health and well-being activities.
The initial $3.76 million support package was made up of four key areas; providing free or subsidised GP visits until May, boosting mental health services, hiring additional health practitioners which includes mental health experts and paying the balance of the Kaikōura Health Te Ha o Te Ora health centre.
To date, in Kaikōura and Hurunui there have been just over 7,000 free GP visits. Canterbury DHB’s Recovery Wellbeing team have had more than 400 visits to support people affected by the Hurunui/Kaikoura Quakes.
In Marlborough, Ward, Seddon and Kekerengu there have been just over 650 free GP visits.
This support package was designed in consultation with Nelson Marlborough and Canterbury DHBs. It is on top of the $20 million package of initiatives to increase mental health support for Cantabrians announced in March 2016.