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PHO Alliance welcomes move to timely patient care

Media Release

14 August 2013 (for immediate release)

PHO Alliance welcomes move to provide more timely and responsive patient care

The Primary Health Organisation (PHO) Alliance has responded positively to the Health Minister’s announcement that the claiming of General Medical Subsidy (GMS) is to be extended to other health professionals within the general practice team.

“For too long, access to timely and responsive care for vulnerable and high needs patients has been restricted by unhelpful red-tape which has failed to recognise the high quality and personalised care provided by nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals within general practice” says PHO Alliance chairman, John Ayling.

Health Minister Tony Ryall has signaled a move which is intended to allow health professionals, in addition to GPs, to generate GMS claims for care provided to many patients within general practice settings.

Dr Andrew Miller, PHO Alliance Executive Committee Member and GP providing services to a predominantly high needs community in Northland, says that the announcement has the potential to significantly improve access to care for patients in areas of high need or where GP cover is limited, such as for rural communities.

“Where general practice has been providing care in areas of typically high need and deprivation, the funding rules have not supported the need to move towards integrated multi-disciplinary working to provide care when and where patients need it – this move should now provide much needed recognition of the vital contribution made in such areas by other members of the primary care team such as nurses and pharmacists”.

But Dr Miller also warned that the supporting business rules will need to be developed in such a way as to ensure funds are not diverted away from existing services for those same vulnerable and high-needs patients.

John Ayling says he looks forward to the PHO Alliance working with Ministry of Health colleagues over the coming months to develop the rules and framework which will ensure the intention of this announcement is firmly translated into better access, better care and better outcomes for those communities and families most at need.

ENDS

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