Whanganui and MidCentral DHBs' health needs assessment released
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27 July 2015

A recently released health needs assessment report confirms that the population living across the  combined Whanganui/MidCentral District Health Board (DHB) region requires higher levels of healthcare than populations in most parts of New Zealand.
 
And the report also confirms that the three groups with the highest levels of health needs are Māori, older people and the socio-economically disadvantaged.
 
Compared to other population groups, Māori and the socio-economically disadvantaged have far higher mortality rates, while older people are at higher risk of major illness, disability and long-term conditions such as diabetes.
 
MidCentral DHB clinical advisor, health information and data quality and author of the report Dr Richard Fong says with around 40 percent of deaths resulting from circulatory diseases, 30 percent from cancer, 10 percent from respiratory, and eight percent from accidents and injuries, these are the conditions and diseases that need particular attention.
 
Dr Fong says the 100-page report gives both DHBs a good idea of the services they need to target to achieve the most benefit for the region’s high-needs populations which are especially prevalent throughout Whanganui, and in the Horowhenua and Otaki areas of the MidCentral district.”
 
WDHB service and business planning general manager Tracey Schiebli says the report is a reminder of the vulnerability of people living in the WDHB health district and the importance of working with other social agencies on the things that influence health, well-being and community resilience.
 
 “We will be analysing the report over the next few weeks ahead of a report back to our board,” Mrs Schiebli says.
 
The health needs assessment can be found on the centralAlliance pages of both the MidCentral and Whanganui DHB websites.