Gavin Lamb | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Gavin Lamb


Gavin Lamb

With family in Northland since 1859 and 1884 respectively, community service comes as second nature.  After years battling on going health issues, and engaging health services ranging from my GP right through to being airlifted to A+E, serving on the Northland Health Consumer Council (NHCC) was a no brainer.

The NHCC allows me to be your voice, to serve as a consumer rep on committees to develop the information sheets and brochures, influence guidelines and protocol, both locally and in some cases nationally, as well as ensuring consumer input into project design and implementation.

I am a firm believer in the fact that we are individuals, with individual needs, and the health system should be flexible enough to be able to adapt to my needs.  That may be having a support person with me, having a quiet room I can retreat to when things become too much, having the ability to choose to attend appointments on-line, particularly appointments with a specialist, rather than having to travel for hundreds of kilometres to get to the appointment when they don’t need to physically examine me.

Access to health care services should not be determined by population density but by need.  Better use of technology can provide better utilisation as well as equity.  People in remote areas should have the choice of going to a local medical centre, doctors, community centre or Marae to access reliable internet, rather than having to travel to Whangārei or Auckland for appointments that could be done remotely and have to claim mileage and/or visit WINZ in order to help cover travel costs which can be several hundred kilometres.  People should be going to a local Tohunga not because it is too difficult to access the public health system but because it is their CHOICE.

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