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


NZMA welcomes budget focus on health

Thursday 19 May 2011

NZMA welcomes budget focus on health

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) welcomes a number of initiatives announced in today’s Budget that will improve health outcomes and is pleased that nearly half of new Government money will go into health services.

“We welcome this funding allocation and the priority placed on health, especially at a time of austerity and fiscal constraint,” says NZMA Chair Dr Paul Ockelford. “The NZMA is particularly pleased to see some of the health budget targeted at reducing the very high rates of rheumatic fever which has been rightly labelled a national disgrace. Rheumatic fever rates are a striking example of health inequities in this country and it is positive to see a commitment towards eradicating what is a preventable illness that has serious health consequences for children.”

Dr Ockelford says that the NZMA health equity position statement, published in March, highlights the importance of a child focused approach as it influences good health outcomes for the remainder of an individual’s life.

The $80 million extra for GP visit subsidies and $14 million for more people qualifying in programmes such as very low cost access and free under sixes, will be helpful in improving access to primary healthcare services.

The NZMA welcomes the funding of 40 extra medical training places which is part of the Government’s pledge to boost the number of medical training places by 200 over five years.
“This is a real positive, although the NZMA has some concern that there has not been increased funding for initiatives, such as the Voluntary Bonding Scheme, to help alleviate medical and wider health workforce shortages. However these initiatives appear to be working well and we would like to see the momentum continue. We would hope that there may be a boost in funding for these areas in future.”

“In order to meet health targets such as improved access to elective surgery and shorter waiting times for cancer treatment, we must ensure that we continue working towards attaining a self-sufficient workforce.”

The NZMA also supports increased funding for dementia care particularly as our population ages and dementia becomes more prevalent in our community.

Dr Ockelford says that the environment is a difficult one with the demand for health services growing every year, especially at a time of severe economic constraint “but we are pleased to see health given such a high priority.”

The NZMA is supportive of the following budget announcements:
• $80 million for increasing access to medicines, including medicines not previously subsidised such as new cancer treatments, the first Alzheimer’s disease drug and diabetes medicines.
• $40 million extra for dementia care over four years including funding increases for residential dementia services.
• A further $68 million over four years to increase funding for elective surgery.
• $130 million for disability support services to meet rising needs and costs.
• Pre-budget announcement of $54.5 million extra for maternity services.


© 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>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland