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Turner delighted at barcode funding

Media statement

Embargoed until the Budget announcement

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Turner delighted at barcode funding

UnitedFuture health spokesperson Judy Turner is welcoming today’s Budget announcement of $11.9 million over four years for the ‘barcode project’ aimed at improving patient safety in hospitals.

“It’s a regrettable fact that far too many people are injured or killed in hospital because they get the wrong medicines,” she said.

“One of the aims of the National Medicines Strategy being developed by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne is to improve patient safety in this area through the use of barcoded point-of-care systems.

“It’s estimated a 65% reduction in medication error in DHB hospitals would prevent about 250 deaths each year, 670 permanent disabilities and about 6800 other disabilities of shorter duration.

“Plus there would be a massive decrease in the number of patient days required in hospitals fixing up these accidents.

“The barcode funding is not the only success story from the National Medicines Strategy.

“The Government is also allocating a further $8.8 million over four years for a national medicines formulary, which will give doctors and pharmacists ready on-line access to the most up-to-date information on existing and new pharmaceuticals.

“That’s $20 million over four years from a UnitedFuture initiative that will greatly improve New Zealanders’ access to quality medical care,” said Mrs Turner.


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