3 Sep 2009

Govt wants more health services in communities

8:44 am on 3 September 2009

The Government wants primary healthcare providers to be able to offer a wider range of services.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says a primary healthcare strategy launched by the previous Government is not delivering.

He is calling for expressions of interest from primary healthcare providers capable of offering a larger scale of service.

These moves may include shifting some hospital services to the community, like x-ray or podiatry, and more walk-in access and extended hours for primary care.

Mr Ryall says he wants increased cooperation between primary care and hospitals, and services moved closer to home in the community.

Labour says it's clearly part of a National Party strategy to cut the number of providers without assessing the quality of their work.

But the Independent Practitioners Associations Council says many will view the plans as a chance to show they are capable of broadening their capacity.