It was an historic moment when our National Council made an announcement to members on Monday 17 November that it has accepted an offer from Green Cross Health for the purchase of Rural Women New Zealand’s shares in Access Homehealth Limited. There are a number of Conditions Precedent to meet which we are confident will be satisfied. The change of ownership is expected to come into effect in December.
This was a significant decision for our National Council given the origins of Access Homehealth, which evolved from the bush nurse and housekeeping schemes, set up in the mid-1920s by members of the Women’s Division of the Farmers Union. The pioneering work of our members, and the tireless work of Access CEO Graeme Titcombe growing the business to what it is today is acknowledged. He is pictured above with outgoing chair, John Ayling, board member Pamela Storey and Green Cross chairman, Peter Merton.
Access is now one of the largest providers of homecare services in the country, contracted to DHBs, the Ministry of Health and ACC. Today the business is a sophisticated one, requiring significant ongoing investment in technology, a commitment to training and a move towards an integrated service model of delivery.
In considering the $18 million offer from Green Cross Health, National Council looked at whether Access remained a core service for Rural Women New Zealand. Could we make better use of the capital for the benefit of our members and the wider rural community? We believe so.
The offer from Green Cross Health was an attractive one, as the company saw the value in acquiring a national homecare provider that serviced both urban and rural. Green Cross Health is committed to continuing Access’ proud tradition of providing specialised home-based care and support. It has also undertaken to fund our present rural scholarships and awards.
Green Cross Health has invited Rural Women New Zealand to propose a member for consideration for appointment to the Green Cross board.
Green Cross Health will retain the name and brand of Access Homehealth and will provide continued employment to all its staff. Green Cross Health is listed on the NZ Stock Exchange and is a leading primary healthcare provider through its pharmacy, medical and community healthcare divisions. For its part, the purchase of Access Homehealth will enhance its ability to offer integrated healthcare solutions nationwide.
While the sale of Access is a significant step, Rural Women New Zealand’s National Council believes it is the right one and offers exciting opportunities and a strong financial future for our organisation.
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