Ashburton township has a population of 19,600 persons and the surrounding district adds another 15,200 persons to the wider Ashburton District. Ashburton Hospital is part of the Canterbury DHB. It has 74 beds and offers secondary level care in medicine, surgery and gynaecology with associated and comprehensive ancillary/community services. This is supported by rural specialists and visiting clinicians. Mental health services, hospital level care of the elderly are provided locally. Ashburton health services are very strongly supported by the community through the Advance Ashburton Community Foundation with connections to other community bodies. The Rural Health Academic Centre has been set up in Ashburton to provide health service training with an excellent investment in simulation. Ashburton has two modern primary care centres well providing for local health services and the Ashburton district is also served by practices in Methven and Rakaia.