28 Oct 2010

Thousands cannot get to after-hours doctors quickly

5:55 am on 28 October 2010

An audit of health services has found that nearly 6500 people cannot access after-hours doctors within an hour's drive.

The Office of the Auditor-General's survey found a further 7300 people can only sometimes get to an after-hours GP within an hour's drive.

The office's sector manager, Colleen Pilgrim, told Parliament's health select committee that 95% of people in district health boards areas can get to an after-hours service within an hour.

But she said those who cannot are in rural areas and transport is a big issue that is not being addressed by DHBs.