5 Jan 2006

Rotarians start NZ medical transfer scheme for Pacific Island children

10:17 am on 5 January 2006

The Rotarian organisation has begun a new programme enabling sick children in Pacific Islands to be sent to New Zealand for treatment.

Patients under 15 years old who can't get certain treatment in their own countries are eligible to apply for the scheme under national Rotary clubs.

The burns victim Chloe Rolland, who's eight, and from Vanuatu, last month became the first child to be treated under the scheme in Auckland.

The NZ regional director, Trish O'Reilly, expects more patients to follow...

"...oh yes we're hoping many will now come to New Zealand. We had quite a time to get through with the New Zealand ministry of health to get permission to bring the children into New Zealand because there's huge waiting lists. But finally the ministry of health agreed that we could use private hospitals, and that's what we're now doing."