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Health sets out plans for new funds

Wednesday June 12, 2019 Written by Published in Health

A new high-tech CT scanner could save lives by allowing doctors to quickly diagnose patients’ illness and injuries in Rarotonga.


Until now, Cook Islanders have had to fly to New Zealand for computerised tomography scans.

The Ministry of Health is set to purchase the scanner with its budgeted funding increase to $17.5 million in the 2019/20 year.

Health Secretary Dr Josephine Herman said they were very pleased with the funding.

“We have a number of road crashes that this will assist. It will help us make efficient decisions on crucial medical matters,” she said.

Additional health funding will also assist in recruiting key medical and specialist positions, and enable the agency to expand health services offered to the community and Pa Enua.

One of the key ministry focuses is the combat and reduction of non-communicable diseases, the main health issue facing the Cook Islands, the government said.

And $300,000 has been allocated to increase the patient referral budget, as the current baseline is insufficient to cover the annual costs.

Dr Herman said most of the new money was going into staffing. The money would also provide improved primary health care services.