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Squeezing the health dollar need not hurt patients

Squeezing the health dollar need not hurt patients

The Government’s squeeze on escalating health spend, announced in today’s Budget, need not hurt patients according to the Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ).

“We support funding being targeted where it can ensure best value for the healthcare budget and the Government’s focus on front line health services is, therefore, correct. There are, for example, significant savings to be made in District Health Board procurement processes,” comments MTANZ chief executive Faye Sumner.

She says that MTANZ has been working with District Health Boards New Zealand (DHBNZ) for two years and the collaboration has already identified $50m per annum in cost efficiencies for the health system through supply chain reforms.

“The Government needs to move quickly to capitalise on unlocking the potential efficiencies that we have identified to ensure patient outcomes are at least maintained, and hopefully improved.”

MTANZ represents manufacturers and importers who supply medical technology used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of disease and disability.

“Sustainable investment in advanced medical technology can save lives and money through more accurate diagnoses, less invasive procedures and improved treatment options. Innovative medical technology is enabling more patients to be monitored in their own home and this initiative can reduce hospital admissions by 20 percent.”

Sumner says, for example, millions of dollars have already been saved through now-common day-stay surgical procedures.

“Where once a gallstones operation required a five-week hospital stay, patients can now return home within a week of their operation, with reduced complications. This has been made possible through advanced, minimally invasive medical technology. “

Savings can be made in the health sector but they don’t have to be at the expense of the patient, she maintains.


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