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Dragons to help address child health equity in New Zealand

15 February 2013

Dragons to help address child health equity in New Zealand

It may not be trying to find investors for the latest app or the newest mousetrap, but Martin Marshall is convinced the Dragons’ Den format is just as useful for academics looking to ‘sell’ their ideas.

Professor Marshall, the keynote speaker at the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners’ (RNZCGP) Quality Symposium has used the Dragons’ Den scenario before, and it is one that elicits as much humour and imagination as it does barbs and sideswipes.

At the Symposium, speakers have five minutes to sell one idea that would build on existing quality improvement initiatives and frameworks for children’s services, with a specific focus on what can be done in general practice. The Dragons (Dr John Wellingham (College of GPs), Dr Nick Baker (Child & Youth Mortality Review Committee), Dr David Grayson (Ko Awatea) and Shelly Frost (Chair, General Practice New Zealand)) will then get to work to probe for more information and ultimately decide on the best of the options given.

Along with interactive panel sessions, case studies and master classes, participants at the Symposium will discuss the learnings, implications and expectations with other primary care and health sector partners attending the event.

“General practice is changing significantly, especially in the area of integration across primary and secondary settings,” says RNZCGP President Dr Tim Malloy.

“This has particular implications for child health. General practitioners are at the front line of health, usually the first medical profession a child will see, so it is our responsibility as GPs to take whatever steps we can to improve child health in New Zealand.

“Our partners in the health sector also see the value of quality initiatives for improving child health, both in terms of reducing poor outcomes in childhood, and the longer term impact on adult health and morbidity.”

Dr Malloy says it is of concern that child health in New Zealand has dropped from one of the highest rates in the OECD to one of the lowest.

“This makes it a critical area for the primary health care sector, general practice and families. Increasingly we are seeing children in New Zealand at risk of diseases related to poverty, with some children missing out on essential health care, so a sector approach is needed to implement the improvements that are necessary. Addressing this situation is a matter of national significance and will require a strong, united leadership from agencies, professionals and individuals.”

Other speakers at the Symposium include Sir Mason Durie (formerly of Massey University), Professor Alan Merry (Health Quality & Safety Commission), Dr Pat Tuohy (Ministry of Health) and Abbas Nazari (details below).


The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Quality Symposium 2013
15-16 February 2013
Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington

For programme, speakers and registration details:

Professor Martin Marshall

Professor of Health Care Improvement at the University College, London.

As well as working as a general practitioner for more than 20 years, Professor Marshall has played a leading role in the advancement of Improvement Science. As Director of the Improvement Science Development Group at the United Kingdom’s Health Foundation, he is one of the world's leading experts in this field.

Professor Marshall’s main interest is improvement science, a practical science which aims to address the gap between what the evidence suggests should happen and what actually happens in clinical and managerial practice. He has published more than 170 publications in the field of quality care and has a particular interest in how information is used to support improvement, the public disclosure of data and organisational culture.

Abbas Nazari

Abbas was born in Afghanistan and lived there until he was seven. In mid-2001, his family sought asylum in Australia, aboard the MV Tampa, a journey that eventually ended in New Zealand. In 2013, he is a first-year student at the University of Canterbury studying Law and Arts. His presentation at the Symposium will tell the story of his family’s experience of coping with New Zealand settlement.

Abbas’ has spoken a number of times of his journey, yet he is also particularly proud of his coming third in the New Zealand National Spelling Bee at the age of 12, after being in the country only five years.

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