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

 

ASSM: Fingers crossed for the budget

Fingers crossed for the budget our public hospitals desperately need, say senior doctors

“Public hospital specialists are desperately hoping the first Budget from the new coalition government will make a real difference to waiting lists, high levels of unmet health needs and the increasingly bare cupboards,” says Lyndon Keene, Director of Policy and Research at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

The Council of Trade Unions and ASMS have released a joint analysis of the levels of funding required in Thursday’s Budget to maintain public health services at both their existing levels and to improve services further.

CTU Policy Director/Economist Bill Rosenberg and Lyndon Keene estimate the Health vote’s operational expenses need to rise by around $805 million (or 5%) simply to maintain the level of health service we already have. That figure climbs to $1,021 million (or 6.3%) when a number of the Government’s election commitments and additional costs such as pay equity for mental health and addiction care workers are taken into account. The full joint CTU-ASMS analysis is available at http://www.union.org.nz/how-much-funding-does-health-need-in-budget-2018/.

“These are big sums of money but they’re required in order to recover from some of the excessive belt-tightening that’s happened in the past nine years, which has placed the public health system under real pressure,” says Lyndon Keene.

“More people are going to hospital than ever before, and they’re sicker. Then there are others who are struggling to get the hospital care their doctors say they need – they’re either getting bumped off waiting lists or facing long waits.”

Examples of the pressures on the health system include:
• A big increase in the number of people discharged from public hospitals since 2009/10 – a rise of 16.3% compared with estimated population growth of 10.2%.
• A 9% increase in hospital outpatient visits, including to emergency departments and nurse-led clinics, over the same period.
• Patients arriving at hospital sicker than in previous years – and that’s expected to rise as the 2018 winter starts to bite.
• The rise in acute hospital patients points to poor access to primary health services, including GP visits and prescriptions.
• The need for mental health services continues to outstrip the growth in resources.
• About half of all public hospital specialists who took part in a peer-reviewed survey of ASMS member report symptoms of burnout, described as ‘a state of vital exhaustion’.
• New Zealand has the sixth lowest number of specialists per population in 33 OECD countries. We’ve also been ranked among the worst out of 11 comparable countries for waiting times for elective surgery, to see a specialist, and for treatment after diagnosis.

These are described in more detail in the joint CTU-ASMS analysis.

Mr Keene says ASMS research shows that senior doctors and dentists, like other health professionals, have shouldered much of the pressures on the system, and this has taken a toll.

“It’s imperative the Government makes a very real commitment on Thursday to improving the situation in public health so that communities have access to high quality publicly-funded health care, and so that public hospital specialists don’t have to provide care and treatment at the expense of their own health.”
ASMS has also published a paper calling for capital charges on DHBs to be abolished: (https://www.asms.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Research-Brief-Capital-Charge_169877.2.pdf).
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Ockhams: Pip Adam Wins Premier Book Award

A novel which judges say ‘will bring readers back from the dead’ has won the 2018 $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the country’s premier book awards. More>>

ALSO:

Voyager Award Winner: “Sempy’s Xmas”

Congratulations to Kent Blechynden, who won a Voyager Media Award for this photo essay, published on Scoop in December.

Michael “Semp” Semple is an old school punk rocker from New Plymouth who is on the methadone programme... On Christmas day he thought he would be alone but two of his mates, “Mikey” and “Stacey”, turned up for some banter. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland & Christchurch: Bob Dylan Returns To NZ

The cross-generational icon will take in Auckland’s Spark Arena on Sunday 26th August and Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena on Tuesday 28th August. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Who Killed Jane?

This is an important book. Why? Because any publication that soberly and sensibly attempts to cast light on an unsolved murder is important, for the very real reasons that not only do the bereaved require and deserve a sense of closure, but that the murderer or murderers may be closer to being confirmed, arrested, tried. More>>

Comedy Fest: A Tasty Programme

2018 NZ INTERNATIONAL 26 APRIL – 20 MAY This April and May the 2018 NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo, hits Auckland and Wellington with one of the tastiest comedy line-ups of its 26-year-old history!... More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke Review: Ravishing Berlioz And Ravel

In this engaging, French-inflected performance, full of strengths, perhaps the standout was the mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke. Wellington has been visited by a few high profile singers recently, notably Anne Sofie von Otter, but few have impressed me as much ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland