- health authority
The lack of after-hours doctor at the isolated rural hospital was due to staff availability, not lack of money, the chair of the new national health entity Te Whatu Ora said.
From tomorrow there would be no doctor on site in the evenings or overnight at the 26-bed hospital in Hokianga.
It offers rest home care, geriatric, maternity, non-surgical services and urgent care. But now, anyone needing a doctor outside the new limited hours would have at least another 70 kilometres to travel to reach one, in Kawakawa, or Kaitāia.
Te Whatu Ora's board discussed Rāwene Hospital's predicament on Friday.
Board chair Rob Campbell told RNZ the board members were "disturbed and concerned about the event and the impact on the community".
He said funding was not the problem in this case - the issue was finding people available to fill the gap.