18 Nov 2014

Rural group to sell home help service

4:00 pm on 18 November 2014

Rural Women New Zealand says it is selling the home help service it has owned for 87 years because the service has outgrown its parent.

Primary health provider Green Cross Health Limited has signed an agreement to buy Access Home Health for about $18 million. It is of the two biggest home health services in New Zealand with more than 16,000 clients.

Rural Women's president Wendy McGowan said s the change of ownership would allow Access Home Health to continue its expansion.

"It has grown so big. It's like a child that's outgrown its parent in a way. At this stage, we need to let it continue growing and an organisation like ours doesn't necessarily have the finance to allow it to grow any more.

"We'd really like to see it become the best and the biggest in New Zealand. We have contracts with almost every district health board, the Ministry of Health, we also have ACC contracts and we do carry out private work as well. "

Ms McGowan said the sale puts Rural New Zealand in a very good position financially to continue with its aims and objectives of protecting and promoting the advancement of rural communities.

"We give a lot of bursaries away for education. We help people with health problems, and it allows us to continue doing that in a better way."

Ms McGowan said the sale was still conditional but expected to be finalised early next month. Access Home Health would keep its name and staff. It has about 4000 employees.

Green Cross Health had a network of about 300 community pharmacies, 49 medical centres and interests in community nursing services.

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