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Health Funding Welcome; Need To Build Workforce

“Increased Health Funding Welcome; Need To Build Workforce”

“The announcement of increased health funding to district health boards is welcome and needs to be used to build the recruitment and retention of the health workforce,”said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“The increase of $2 billion over four years to ‘future proof’ for population growth and cost increases is commendable. Health is people-intensive. More than anything else it is the health workforce that produces value. The workforce guarantees quality of patient services and access to these services. The bulk of this significant financial investment must be spent on the health workforce if patient needs and government aspirations are to be met. Health Minister David Cunliffe has already got off to a good start by supporting our initiative for an expert independent commission on internationally competitive remuneration and other conditions for senior doctors.”

“The government has given a positive stimulus to encourage collaboration between district health boards with the allocation of $172 million. While DHBs are based on sound principles, there is a need in a small country like New Zealand for greater regional and national collaboration if we are to improve the quality of and access to health services. Senior doctors need to be centrally engaged in the leadership of decision-making to make this collaboration happen.”

“Dr Cullen’s budget goes in the right direction for the health system. If the government’s expectations are to be delivered, then the health workforce needs to be better supported and senior doctors must play a key leadership role in DHB decision-making,”concluded Mr Powell.


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