8 Oct 2013

New health hub caring for community

7:23 pm on 8 October 2013

A South Taranaki Maori health provider says its new hauora hub is filling a void and is catering for the whole community.

Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui has taken over a purpose-built building in Hawera that was the former site of mainstream health provider SouthCare, which fell over due to a financial dispute earlier this year.

The tribe's CEO, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, says the relocation of the Ngati Ruanui Health Centre into the new complex means it's playing a vital role in caring for everyone, not just its Maori patients; 51% of their clients are Maori and 49% are non-Maori.

Ms Ngarewa-Packer says with the arrival of whanau ora and the decline of other health providers such as SouthCare, the tribal health service is providing much-needed services for South Taranaki.

Ngati Ruanui has integrated its GP services and whanau ora contract, and is providing a wraparound care service for everybody in the district.

Effectively, the new health hub has become a whanau ora centre and has 5000 patients on its books, she says.