Rural Health a Priority During New Zealand Visit

The Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash visited businesses and a health service in regional New Zealand.

Page last updated: 16 April 2014

PDF printable version of Rural Health a Priority During New Zealand Visit (PDF 260 KB)

16 April 2014

The Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash visited businesses and a health service in regional New Zealand.

Minister Nash toured Fonterra’s Te Rapa operations in Hamilton and South Waikato Health Centre. She also made a site visit to Sanitarium’s food production facility in Auckland.

While in New Zealand Minister Nash has met with New Zealand Minister of Health, Tony Ryall, and Associate Minister for Health, Jo Goodhew, to discuss innovations in rural health service delivery and the health challenges faced by each country.

“Australia and New Zealand share much in common, historically and geographically, and there are many similar issues for the two countries in rural health,” Minister Nash said.

“For example, both countries face common challenges in ensuring a well-trained medical workforce is available to all parts of the country, including rural and remote areas.”

Minister Nash said New Zealand has a health system comparable to Australia, with a strong mix of public and private services, good uptake of private health insurance, and the challenges in delivering healthcare to rural and Indigenous populations.

“The life expectancy of the Maori people has continued to rise over the past two decades, so there is much we can learn from the success of our Trans-Tasman neighbour that may benefit our work to close the gap in the life expectancy between Indigenous and other Australians.

“Australia is already working with New Zealand to accelerate research for a vaccine against acute rheumatic fever which is a major problem in our Indigenous communities.”

“The Australian Government is interested in the approaches that other nations are taking to improve their health systems and to improve the health of people living outside the major cities and towns, for any learnings that we might be able to apply to our own system.

“I have welcomed the opportunity to discuss these important issues with New Zealand Ministers,” she said.

Minister’s media contact: Carolyn Martin, 0417 966 328

View by date:

Top of Page