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

 


Budget opportunity for govt to fund health properly

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
TUESDAY 13 MAY 2014

Budget opportunity for govt to fund health properly

“Tomorrow’s Budget is an opportunity for the Government to put money where its mouth is and show how much it really values the health care of New Zealanders,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

“Our health system needs a significant injection of cash just to maintain the current level of health services, and we know that’s not enough to meet the needs of our communities. If we want to actually improve the health of people in this country then the Budget will need to provide funding that covers the real costs of running our public hospitals.”

“Right now public hospitals are being held together by overstretched and overworked senior doctors and other health professionals. At some point this madness must end.”

Mr Powell says early indications suggest district health boards (DHBs) are in line to get $250 million more than last year, which would be $149 million short of what they need to maintain their current level of services.

Council of Trade Unions (CTU) research shows DHBs need an increase of $399 million, or 3.6 percent, to maintain existing levels of service. Allowing for reasonable additions to services and new treatments, as well as productivity increases, would require an increase of $536 million, or 4.8 percent more than DHBs currently receive.

Overall, the entire Health vote (which includes more than DHBs) would need to rise by $499 million or 3.5 percent to maintain current services, and by $670 million or 4.7 percent if the Government wanted it to do more.

“The Government likes to present the health sector as the big winner in its Budget spending each year but that’s simply not correct,” says Mr Powell.

“If the health sector as a whole is not funded properly, what we will be looking at is a further deterioration of services, less access to new treatments, and increasing user charges for health care. That will be bad for patients and it will certainly be bad for senior doctors and other health professionals working in New Zealand’s public hospitals.”

He says politicians need to put aside their embellishments and ‘spin’ about how well the health system is doing and focus on funding long-term sustainable solutions.

“There’s a real opportunity here for the Government to step up and show it’s serious about improving health care and investing in its specialist workforce. New Zealand is dealing with an aging population, a growing burden of chronic and poverty-related illnesses, leaky hospitals and rundown facilities, and a host of workforce issues that need addressing, such as entrenched shortages and excessive workloads.

“The last thing overstretched and overworked health professionals need is a few extra plasters tossed our way and a sympathetic hug from the Government.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Review: Howard Davis On Olivier Assayas' 'Personal Shopper'

Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper is stylish, mysterious, and very strange indeed. It manages to be both ghost story and suspense thriller, yet also a portrait of numbed loneliness and ennui , held together by an peculiarly inexpressive performance from ... More>>

Howard Davis: Never Too Old To Rock & Roll - Jethro Tull

As Greil Marcus recently observed in an NYRB review of Robbie Robertson's autobiographical Testimony, in rock and roll there is always an origin story. In the case of Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson, he claims to have been influenced by his father's big band and jazz record collections and the emergence of rock music in the 1950s, but became disenchanted with the "show biz" style of early US stars like Elvis Presley... More>>

October: Alice Cooper Returns To NZ

It was March 1977 when Alice Cooper undertook his first ever concert tour of New Zealand – and broke attendance records. 40 years on and this revered entertainer continues to surprise and exude danger at every turn, thrilling audiences globally! More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Contemporary Relevance Of Denial

Denial has all the hallmarks of a riveting courtroom drama. Based on a 1996 British libel case that author David Irving brought against Lipstadt, the movie has been criticized as flat and stagey, but it nonetheless conveys a visceral clarity of vision and sense of overwhelming urgency. More>>

Obituary: John Clarke Dies Aged 68

Andrew Little: “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am devastated by John Clarke’s death. He taught us to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh at our politicians.” More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Colin McCahon's 'on Going Out With The Tide'

Curated by Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, On Going Out with the Tide features major works that have been assembled from public and private collections across New Zealand and Australia. It focusses on McCahon’s evolving engagement with Māori subjects and themes, ranging from early treatments of koru imagery to later history paintings which refer to Māori prophets and investigate land-rights issues. More>>

Howard Davis: Rodger Fox Gets Out The Funk

By now a living New Zealand legend, band leader and trombonist Rodger Fox has performed with some of the biggest names in the jazz business, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton-Thomas, and Joe Williams, to name only a few. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news