The Government needs to give priority to the unique needs of older adults in rural areas, says Rural Women New Zealand.

The group has lodged a submission on the Ministry of Health's update of the Health of Older people strategy.

Spokeswoman Margaret Pittaway said in a statement that while the strategy set out a worthy set of goals for the health and wellbeing of older adults in the next 10 years, it did not give appropriate attention to "the special and unique challenges of ageing in rural areas".

In its submission Rural Women New Zealand said there were ongoing barriers to access to older adult health services in rural areas, along with health disparities.


It said there was a distinct lack of primary healthcare services in rural areas.

According to a survey of its members more than a quarter of those living in rural areas have to travel more than 30 minutes to the closest GP.