13 Apr 2016

Cooks defends elderly health care

4:44 pm on 13 April 2016
Natasha Martin (Te Arawa, Ngāti Ranginui), who will be the tumuaki or head of the 2016 Te Oranga, Māori Medical Students Aotearoa. She is pictured on her placement at Rarotonga Hospital in the Cook Islands.

Cook Islands defends health care for elderly Photo: Supplied

The Cook Islands Ministry of Health has rejected Grey Power claims that because of a lack of funding there are delays in sending elderly patients to New Zealand for treatment.

Cook Islands News reports the Grey Power secretary Stu Maxwell as saying a number of very ill older citizens at Rarotonga Hospital were waiting for referrals to New Zealand for medical care.

He claimed the excuse offered for the delay given by the Health Ministry was a lack of money.

But the health secretary Elizabeth Iro said that was not the case.

She said any issues were more to do with patients complying with the ministry's patient referral policy.

The policy provided objectives and guidelines for patient transfers and she said she would be happy to talk with Mr Maxwell about the patients he was concerned for.