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Health Programmes Gearing Up

Health Minister Annette King says a wide range of improvements to health services will be maintained this year throughout the period of structural changes to the health sector.

Announcing the new funding agreement with the Health Funding Authority, Mrs King said: "The first reading of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill last week marked the formal start of the creation of a genuine public health service. But this Government's aim is not to change for change's sake, but to deliver better health for New Zealanders. That aim will not be put on hold.

"The exciting projects in the new funding agreement will establish a momentum that will be maintained when the structural changes are completed."

Mrs King said the agreement, specifying targets the HFA will meet in funding health services, covers the period until the end of this year when the HFA is fully integrated into the Ministry of Health. "The agreement sets an excellent platform for the Ministry by establishing clear goals and programmes. That work will be well under way by the time the Ministry takes over."

Mrs King said the agreement reflected Government health priorities. "Some of the programmes are far-reaching, but I must emphasise there is no big bang approach. We have to recognise achievable goals to solve a host of difficult problems, and set out to achieve them realistically and sensibly."

Highlights of the agreement included:
 A mental health child and youth work plan.
 By the end of November 100 percent of first specialist assessments for elective surgery to be completed within six months of receipt of referral.
 Implementation of HFA's Child Health Plan.
 Improved services for people with autism.
 Expanded health initiatives in South Auckland, Porirua and Kapiti Coast.
 Funding for eight Maori health gain priority areas and for Pacific providers.
 Stocktake of rural health services.

Copies of the Funding Agreement are available from the HFA's website, www.hfa.govt.nz Summary of highlights attached.

HIGHLIGHTS

Health Funding Authority Funding Agreement, 2000/01


Develop a Mental Health Child & Youth Plan
The HFA will develop a mental health child and youth work plan to align service delivery to the needs of children and youth, contributing to the Crown’s objective for mental health.

The child and youth mental health work plan will:
identify and prioritise key areas for the allocation of new funding
include a focus on specialist mental health services.

Elective Surgery
By the end of November, the HFA is expected to achieve the following:
100% of first specialist assessments completed within six months of receipt of referral.
All patients given certainty about their plan of care, including care category, as part of the assessment process.
All hospital services fully compliant with national minimum dataset requirements, including providing national booking reporting data to the NZHIS data warehouse.
Final national referral and clinical priority assessment guidelines for all major surgical services implemented in relevant hospital services. Process for ongoing review and improvement of the tools (through research and evaluation) identified and under way.

Development of Pacific Providers
Purchase further Pacific Provider Development with the additional $1.35 million (GST exclusive) made available by the Government in June 2000 plus an amount from HFA baseline funding to be agreed with the HFA, in accordance with a plan developed/agreed with the Ministry and approved by the Minister of Health.

Child Health
Implement the initiatives/action plans for 2000 as detailed in the HFA’s Child Health Business Plan, Schedule Five. These initiatives focus on the following key aspects of child health:
improving the coverage of preventative services
improving access and targeting
involving families

child health Information.
Implement a Purchase Approach for Autism Services
The HFA will:
 do initial work to address the service gaps in support of children and adults, focusing on people with high support needs
 work towards addressing the lack of awareness of Autistic Spectrum Disorder issues across professional groups. This will include information and family packs for families, training trainers, and diagnosis, assessment, and re-assessment. This will also include a focus on early intervention
 work towards strengthening inter-agency protocols for seamless provision of services and effective safety nets.
 Work to ensure that adequate respite and behavioural support are available for families and carers, and are improved.

Patient Travel and Accommodation
The HFA will develop and implement a nationally consistent policy for meeting the costs of travel, accommodation and patient transfers.

Emergency Services
The HFA will establish five regional emergency care co-ordination teams. These teams will provide leadership, oversight and monitoring of each of five regional networks of emergency services.

The networks will be collaborative and involve all emergency care providers in each region. This will be in accordance with the concept outlined in the joint-agency publication: Roadside to Bedside – Developing a 24-hour Clinically Integrated Acute Management System for New Zealand.

Improve Services in Porirua and on the Kapiti Coast
The HFA will fund the following initiatives:
additional diabetes services to achieve better control and treatment of diabetic symptoms and reduced morbidity associated with diabetes
additional asthma services to achieve better control of asthma and reduced A&E presentations and hospitalisations
a local provider led child health information system to improve immunisation coverage
additional Pacific peoples primary services to reduce key health disparities
improved outpatient services
improved maternity services.

The HFA will take part in a Capital Coast Health Ltd led review of accident and emergency services available in Porirua and the Kapiti region. This review will identify options for providing emergency services on a 24 hour basis by 2001/02 for people in the Porirua and Kapiti region.

Improve Services in South Auckland
The HFA will expand the range of health integration projects it funds in South Auckland, and identify more effective ways of delivering childhood immunisations.

The Authority will allocate a $4 million integration budget to initiatives that improve Maori health, Pacific health, child and youth health in South Auckland. The initiatives will be determined through consultation with an intersectoral steering group that includes Ministry of Health, health providers, other sectors and the community


Evaluating the Impact of Existing Programmes

The HFA will evaluate several major public health programmes to determine the contribution they are making to the health status of New Zealanders. These evaluations will cover tobacco control, destigmatisation, and breast cancer screening.

Funding Services in the HFA’s 8 Maori Health Gain Priority Areas

The HFA has approved eight Maori Health Gain Priority Areas: Smoking, Immunisation, Diabetes, Oral Health, Hearing, Asthma, Injury Prevention and Mental Health. The HFA will purchase and contract for services that align with these priority areas. This measure builds upon the earlier work already undertaken by the HFA.

Rural Health

Maintain premiums to recognise the additional costs of operating rural hospitals as part of the HHS purchasing framework, and carry out a stocktake of rural health services.

Continue Work on Development of other strategies, including the NZ Health Strategy

HFA perspectives will be provided on the following existing strategies during development of the New Zealand Health Strategy:
 Whaia te Ora mo te iwi
 New Zealand youth suicide prevention strategy: In Our Hands/Kia Piki Te Ora O Te Taitamariki
 national drug policy
 strategies for the prevention and control of diabetes
 breast cancer control strategy
 child health strategy
 sexual and reproductive health strategy
 Looking Forward and Moving Forward; the national mental health strategy
 maternity services strategy
 Pacific health strategy.

A continued HFA contribution will also be required to support development of the New Zealand Disability Strategy.
.

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