22 Sep 2009

Motiti Island to get flying doctor service

10:34 am on 22 September 2009

Motiti Island in the Bay of Plenty is getting its own flying doctor service.

The Western Bay of Plenty public health organisation has a $50,000 grant from the government's rural health innovation fund to provide the service from Tauranga to the island, which has a population of about 250 mainly aging Maori.

Waatea News reports it's the idea of Jill Palmer from Matakana Island Maori health service Te Awanui Hauora.

She says it is expensive for island residents to get medical help and cost $100 for a return flight to Tauranga.

Ms Palmer says when you add in doctor's fees and prescription charges patients could be paying up to $180 just to go to the doctor.

She says the flying doctor will run a regular clinic on the island's marae, and be available for emergency call outs from Tauranga which is 10 minutes flight away.