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Health and ACC to sponsor Health Innovation Awards

Health and ACC to sponsor Health Innovation Awards in 2004

The Accident Compensation Corporation and the Ministry of Health will build on this year's inaugural Health Innovation Awards by renewing their sponsorship in 2004.

ACC chief executive Garry Wilson said the awards presented in Wellington last week were an outstanding success that ACC wanted to see continue.

"I believe the innovations will have a cumulative impact on the health sector. Each successful innovation generates further innovations, improving our health service and, ultimately, reducing costs to ACC," Mr Wilson said.

"It’s very fitting that ACC and the Ministry are partners in sponsoring the awards as we both believe in quality,” Ministry of Health Deputy Director-General of Clinical Services Colin Feek said.

“These awards reflect the creativity and innovation shown in the health system and this year's 192 entrants produced ideas and solutions that can be transferred to health providers around the country and, even, internationally."

"Both the Ministry and ACC believe the awards are an excellent way to recognise the considerable effort many people in the health sector that goes into doing things in a better way for patients", Dr Feek said.

This year's awards were jointly organised and funded by ACC and the Ministry of Health and promise to become the premier event for the health sector.

It is hoped the founding sponsors will be joined by commercial sponsorship.

"There can now be no question the awards provide a valuable stimulus to the development of the 'Knowledge Economy' with New Zealand's health sector often at the forefront of developments in patient care and medical information systems," Mr Wilson said.

In 2003, there were three award categories: individual, group and organisation.

The supreme award was won by the Greater Wellington Health Trust’s free retinal screening service for diabetics, which also picked up the group category award and the “popular choice” award (voted by visitors to the exhibition).

The individual category award went to Dr Malcolm Battin, of the National Women’s Hospital and Liggins’ Institute, for an infants’cooling cap that may prevent a baby’s brain from developing brain damage in the days after birth.

MidCentral District Health Board won the organisation category for its Hospital in the Home service. It gives seriously ill people specialist medical care in their own homes.

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