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Government needs to heed the messages

Media Statement
From the president of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners,
Dr Jim Vause

2 December 2003

Government needs to heed the messages

The College of GPs has been trying to convey to the Government since April exactly the same messages contained in the Victoria University health researchers’ report on the first year of Primary Health Organisations.

Welcoming the external review as a potential catalyst for urgent change, College president Dr Jim Vause said the strategy is widely supported “but the implementation leaves much to be desired.

“If the persistent and widely acknowledged problems are not addressed quickly, the whole strategy will be put at risk.”

Dr Vause said the obvious forum to address these problems was the implementation task force that the Minister of Health agreed to in July.

“We hope that will now be instituted.”

A national publicity campaign, a key element in increasing awareness of the biggest change in public health funding since 1938, is largely confined to posters and leaflets displayed only in PHO clinics.

Fluctuations in income, late and inadequate funding of change, confused and confusing enrolment processes, inconsistency and variation of contracting, are other problems that must be addressed urgently.

The executive summary of the report identified the need for “greater clarity and consistency with regard to the implementation of the PHOs”.

“General practice insists on an early and effective response,” Dr Vause said.

ENDS

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