A renewed contract will mean the country’s first and only mobile surgical bus will keep on trucking for another year.
For the past seventeen years the mobile surgical bus has been a regular sight on New Zealand’s roads. It parks up alongside small-town hospitals and medical centres from Kaikohe to Balclutha, providing vital day surgery to almost 23,000 patients in need.
The Ministry of Health has renewed until June 30 next year its ongoing contact with Mobile Health that operates the surgical bus plus medical education, telehealth and video services, to help medical staff working in the regions to advance their knowledge and on-going professional development through video link education sessions.
“Over the last seventeen years the surgical bus has proven itself safe and cost-effective, with over 22,800 patients on elective surgery waiting lists being treated in rural areas” said Mobile Health Chief Executive Mark Eager. “We look forward to working with the Ministry over the next 12 months to develop plans which will shape the services we offer for the next five to ten years”.
He said it would retain its key focus of delivering same-day surgery to rural and regional patients in need, future plans could see a move into providing extra support for urban hospitals with surgical capacity issues. More recently the mobile bus has been utilised to provide additional elective surgical capacity in places such as South Auckland’s Manukau Super Clinic.
Eager said Mobile Health was delighted that the contract extension also included further support for its rural health education hub (which has delivered over 93,000 hours of professional development and education to health professionals in 45 rural locations), as well as its Telehealth Resource Centre (www.telehealth.org.nz) which provides guidance and resources for people looking to set up, improve or use a telehealth service within New Zealand.
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