22 Jul 2012

Manager to sort out Maori healthcare on Coast

8:17 pm on 22 July 2012

Problems with an organisation that provides Maori healthcare on the West Coast are to be sorted out by a 'change manager' announced by the local district health board.

West Coast District Health Board announced on 19 July that change manager Michael O'Dea had been engaged for a period of three months to put a new organisational structure in place. Changes to job descriptions and redundancies were a possibility, it said.

Rata Te Awhina Trust chair Susan Wallace welcomed the appointment, saying the changes are vital.

The trust is contracted by the DHB and several Government ministries to provide services for local Maori, but the DHB is worried the service is inadequate, and that some Maori are missing out.

Trust deputy chair Francois Tumahai says the service covers a large area and has problems with costs and time associated with the necessary travel.

But Mr Tumahai, who also chairs Ngati Waewae, says the structure of the organisation also needs to be reviewed, which he says may involve redundancies or changes to people's job descriptions.

He says the current level of DHB funding - about $500,000 a year - and the present staffing arrangement is not sustainable.

But he assures West Coast Maori their local health services won't suffer.