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Quality Improvement Strategy for health sector

28 July 2001 Media Advisory

Quality Improvement Strategy for health sector

The Government is developing a Health Sector Quality Improvement Strategy setting out the components of the high-quality public health system it wants for all New Zealanders.

Health Minister Annette King said today the Government was committed to a quality health service, and determined to provide the leadership needed to attain it.

"But we don't get a quality health system because I stand in front of a group of clinicians and say so. It can only be achieved with the participation and cooperation of innovative clinical leaders," she told delegates to today's AGM of the Clinical Leaders Association of New Zealand.

"Clinically expert doctors and nurses who are also able to think outside their disciplines are vital to building a high quality public health service," Mrs King said.

"And strengthening clinical leadership and clinicians' role in management will be key components of the New Zealand Health Sector Quality Improvement Strategy."

Mrs King said the Strategy would set out the building blocks that New Zealand needed to advance quality improvement activities in the health sector.

"It will pull together many pieces of work on quality improvement already occurring in the health sector, including the work that the Clinical Leaders Association of New Zealand has completed on clinical governance and leadership.

"In addition, project work is underway to implement credentialling systems for senior medical officers. The framework for credentialling systems takes a clinical governance approach and implementation of the framework will require active participation from practitioners."

Mrs King said the strategy would also focus on risk reduction and promoting patient safety, would position assuring and improving quality as an everyday activity and encourage public and patient involvement.

"Quality is not some 'extra'. It is the basis of our everyday activities in health care.
"The framework that the strategy provides will support the purpose and aims of the New Zealand Health Strategy and provide a structure for local policy development as well as addressing patient safety and issues of public confidence.

"This framework should also be part of District Health Boards' quality management systems. The success of this will be depend on partnership among the boards, management and clinicians."

The National Health Committee is currently preparing a discussion document on quality improvement, which is expected to be released for public consultation by September. Submissions are expected to close later in the year. A strategy group will be set up early next year to consider the submissions and prepare the New Zealand Health Sector Quality Improvement Strategy.

ENDS

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