News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Budget a Mixed Bag - NZMA

Budget a Mixed Bag - NZMA

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) is concerned at the negative effects of reduced health funding, announced in today’s budget, which will lead to some patients missing out on essential health services.

“We are however pleased to see that the funding shortfall is not as dramatic as we’d anticipated,” says NZMA Deputy Chair Dr Paul Ockelford.

The Government has announced $512 million of additional funding for the 2010/11 financial year, although only $420 million of that is new money.

The NZMA says that the Government has exerted pressure on DHBs in recent months to reduce spending but has not provided central guidance on which services are to be reduced.
“We already have huge variability in the quality of health care delivery throughout the country. This postcode health phenomenon will only be exacerbated if the Government does not demonstrate leadership and guide DHBs in their health expenditure.”

Dr Ockelford says the NZMA supports Government aims to improve the integration of health services so that hospitals and the community work closer together to deliver better health care for patients.
“The future delivery of healthcare is increasingly in a non-hospital setting. However, appropriate funding must follow, as well as comprehensive engagement of doctors in both the primary and secondary sectors.”

Dr Ockelford says that for health integration to succeed, engagement with clinicians is essential and to date this has been limited.
“The process has been very rushed. If the Government does not have clinical buy-in, this initiative will not succeed.”

The NZMA is also concerned that resources allocated to health do not always provide best value. “There is still waste in the system, partly due our health structure, which results in duplication across DHBs.”

The NZMA is supportive, however, of funding announcements made in today’s Budget such as an extra $59.5 million for elective surgery over the next four years and an extra $93 million for disability support services over the next four years.

Dr Ockelford says the NZMA welcomes funding for 20 new medical training places for 2010/2011 but would have liked to see this number higher to meet health workforce demands.


“We have got a long way to go before we reach the Government’s stated target of 200 extra training places by 2014.”

“However, health workforce shortages are at crisis levels so any initiatives that can assist in the recruitment and retention of doctors, nurses and other health professionals are to be commended. New Zealand needs to be self-sufficient in its health workforce and this funding goes some way towards achieving this goal.”

Dr Ockelford said that the Government, through measures announced in last year’s budget, such as extra medical training places and the Voluntary Bonding Scheme, is making some progress on this critical issue.

The NZMA supports other health budget announcements released earlier:

• Bowel cancer screening pilot costing $24 million over the next four years
• $40million for mental health over the next four years (although $12m of this will be funded by cutting some existing mental health initiatives).
• 20 new medical training places for 2010/11.
• An extra $40million for medicines.
• $109 million for primary care services, and there has also been some reprioritisation within primary care.
• $1.4 billion of the total $2.1 billion over the next four years will go straight to district health boards, Mr Ryall said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>


Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland