Canterbury District Health Board has been congratulated by the Human Rights Commission for the work it has undertaken to ensure access to the health services for Cantabrians since the first quake.
Chief commissioner David Rutherford praised the DHB for the leadership it has shown, and gave particular mention to CDHB's Recovery Plan. He said the organisation was an exemplar to others, in the way it was meeting its human rights obligations. Mr Rutherford added that CDHB's Recovery Plan had provided a blue print for others to follow.
"The Commission has been very impressed with the DHB's efforts in regard to the realisation of the highest attainable level of health for the people of Canterbury," Mr Rutherford said.
The Commission is particularly interested in work the DHB is involved with in retrofitting insulation in homes of vulnerable people and ensuring health in all policies.
In response, David Meates credited the team leading the Canterbury Health System for their vision and determination to keep putting patients first as the health system evolved in the new post-quake environment.
"The quake created a situation which threw up numerous challenges for the health system. From broken buildings, loss of over 600 aged residential care beds, losing over 100 medical beds, having to move out of more than 20 of our facilities, damage to pharmacies and GP practices and 12,000 of our 14,000 hospital rooms requiring repairs.
"The physical challenges have been immense. That's before we begin to think about the personal impacts on the people who work across the Canterbury Health System. 16,000 people who work in health have all been affected by the quakes in some way. Over 9,500 DHB staff face disruption in their lives with damaged homes and insurance issues, but still they come to work to do their best for the people of Canterbury.
"Our Recovery Plan is the document which outlines current activities and planned changes to the way we work to ensure we continue to meet the needs of people in Canterbury," David Meates said.
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