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

 


Initiative increases access to medical care for under 6s

After-hours initiative increases access to medical care for under 6s - report


Reducing the cost of subsidised co-payments appears to have led to an increase in the number of children under 6 using after-hours accident and medical clinics, according to a government-commissioned report released today.


The report, written by lead researcher Dr Tim Tenbensel from the University of Auckland, evaluates initiatives designed to reduce barriers to accessing after-hours and urgent medical care in the Auckland region. These initiatives, sponsored by the Greater Auckland Integrated Health Network, include the Accident and Medical (A&M) intervention, which introduced subsidised co-payments and increased opening hours to 11 participating A&M clinics across Auckland.


This research was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand in partnership with the Ministry of Health. It was commissioned under the government’s Better, Sooner, More Convenient Primary Health Care initiative, which aims to deliver a more personalised primary health care system that provides services closer to home and makes Kiwis healthier.


For those patients that were eligible for subsidised co-payments*, the report’s researchers estimated that use of the participating A&M clinics was 13 per cent higher than expected (8600 patients) over the course of the initiative’s second year (September 2012 – August 2013). The number of patients aged over 65 using A&M clinics was higher than predicted (although still low); however, the biggest indication of a positive effect was for children under 6 years.


“We are confident that increases in the use of accident and medical clinics, particularly for under-6s, can be attributed to the A&M intervention. This is based on economic analysis of the data, which shows that reducing co-payments to zero had a strong influence on the use of A&M clinics by under-6s in low income neighbourhoods,” says Dr Tenbensel.


These results corresponded with an estimated 10 per cent (7000 patients) drop in the number of eligible patients presenting to hospital emergency departments. However, Dr Tenbensel stresses that this decrease cannot necessarily be attributed to the A&M intervention because of other confounding factors.


The report also evaluated two other initiatives: an after-hours telephone triage service offered by HomeCare Medical Limited (HML), where patients can call their GP after hours, and the St John Transport (SJT) Initiative, which aims to reduce the number of patients St John Ambulance services transports to emergency departments who can be safely managed in the community.


Awareness of the HML service was found to be low, with only 10 per cent of surveyed patients aware that their family doctor provided an after-hours telephone service.


Over the first 24 months of the SJT Initiative (December 2011 to November 2013), 2967 patients were diverted by ambulance to an Auckland A&M clinic. In 88 per cent of these transfers, patients were successfully managed in primary care, while 10 per cent were referred on to hospital.


The report concluded that the SJT Initiative had made a “small difference” to patients’ use of A&M clinics and hospital emergency departments. Surveys of ambulance patients showed that those who were transferred to A&M clinics were satisfied with their care as long as they were seen by a doctor or nurse on arrival.


Dr Tenbensel says while it is too early to expect these initiatives to show positive results, the report does indicate the key issues to address if these services are to play a positive role.


“The value in all the initiatives lies more in the processes by which they came about – as a consequence of constructive engagement between Auckland region health organisations – and less in the capacity of these instruments to quickly solve endemic, structural health system problems,” says Dr Tenbensel.


To download a copy of the full report, go to https://cdn.auckland.ac.nz/assets/fmhs/reports/BSMC-HRC-12-940-FINAL-REPORT-16-May-2014.pdf


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: “Salute” By Royal New Zealand Ballet In Wellington

The Royal New Zealand Ballet performed “Salute” for a final time in Wellington on Sunday night, and it was nothing short of spectacular. More>>

ALSO:

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news