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Quality Standards in Contracts a Positive Step

19 September 2000 Media Statement

Quality Standards in Contracts a Positive Step Forward

Health Minister Annette King says the introduction of quality standards into new contracts between the Health Funding Authority and community medical testing laboratories are a positive step towards restoring public confidence in the health system.

The contracts include professional standard requirements and ensure minimum clinical standards for laboratories, and quality standards for specific services.

"Ultimately, these new standards will improve and enhance medical diagnostic processes, minimise potential for error and provide greater protection for New Zealanders," she said.

Mrs King said the new quality contracts would also ensure greater transparency, allowing the HFA the right to terminate funding arrangements, the right to inspect records, and audit service quality, delivery performance, and information standards.

"This Government is committed to restoring New Zealand's public health service, and I believe these new contract arrangements are a huge step towards restoring public confidence in our health system.

"I am also pleased to hear that the HFA is close to finalising standards which will cover screening quality standards for the National Cervical Screening Programme. National screening programmes must be consistent across the country."

ENDS

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