19 Sep 2017

Cooks medical referrals back on after budget boost

10:42 am on 19 September 2017

The Cook Islands Ministry of Health says its patient referral scheme ran out of money last year but is now operating again.

The scheme's budget had been overspent due to increased charter flights to the outer islands to bring sick people to Rarotonga and for air ambulance charter to New Zealand.

The patient referral scheme operates in conjunction with District Health Boards in New Zealand and has a budget of $US400 thousand dollars annually.

Now after some delay, patients are again able to be flown to New Zealand for medical treatment after a budget top up from the Ministry of Health.