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Green Health Policy Summary

Health Policy Summary

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green party's vision is of a holistic, preventative health system, focussed on improving people's health and living conditions, and reducing the risk of illness.

We want a well funded health system focussed on patient safety, which delivers a high standard of patient care and which everyone can access, regardless of their ability to pay.

To improve the health of New Zealanders we have to improve the underlying environmental, economic and social conditions that are causing ill health. These include poverty, unemployment, air and water pollutions, toxins, poor education and poor quality housing.

Preventive and Public health We need to take a longer term view and invest in improving people's health and reduce illness. This will pay off in the long term with fewer admissions to hospital.

We will:
* Increase the investment to prevent illness and injury and promote health to 10% of the total healthcare budget within 5 years (an additional $150 million each year to Vote: Health).

* Establish an independent Environmental and Public Health Agency, to monitor and advise on public health in New Zealand. Primary Health Accessible and affordable primary health care is central to the well being and health of New Zealanders. We will:

* Increase funding to primary care to progressively make primary health care affordable for all people.

* Ensure recognised complementary health practitioners can be part of multi-disciplinary primary health care organisations;

* Encourage & support not-for-profit primary healthcare organisations which involve their communities in their governing structures and in particular, target low income, high health needs areas and areas of deprivation. DHB funding The Green Party is concerned about the level of DHB deficits but it is short-sighted to promise to wipe out the deficits, only to let them build again. We will:

* Review why DHB's are running deficits and ensure the Ministry of Health's cost and pricing models reflect the real costs of services

* Ensure DHBs receive sufficient funding to meet the real cost of services Rural Health Secure health services are at the heart of a healthy rural community.

We will:
* Retain hospital services serving rural communities and strengthen their viability and staffing capacity by allowing them to undertake more elective surgery. This could also decrease waiting lists at base hospitals.

* Ensure there are A&E services with access to surgery within one hour's travel by road for 90% of New Zealanders.

* Improve working conditions and pay to attract quality staff to rural areas.

* Support the establishment of multi disciplinary primary healthcare teams in rural areas.

* Encourage the utilisation of mobile services to improve the delivery of primary healthcare, children's dental care, mental healthcare and marae clinics. Complementary Health Care Increasing numbers of people, including health professionals are realising the health and well being benefits of complementary therapies.
We will: * Ensure that health therapies and practitioners are registered with proven peer review standards and adequate training

* Work towards the integration of qualified and recognised complementary health practitioners into the public health system and as part of primary health care organisations.

* Facilitate access to a wide range of safe and effective dietary supplements

* Stop the Trans-Tasman control of dietary supplements Maori health

* Increase accessibility of health services to Maori through increased provision of community and marae based services.

* Ensure Maori representation and consultation at all levels of the health service

* Support additional funding for health research resources to be directed at Maori health issues in order to address the continuing disparities in the standards of health between Maori and non-Maori.

* Support rongoa Maori (traditional Maori healing) practitioners and practices. Mental Health Mental health services are a priority and further work is required to implement the Blueprint and accelerate workforce development.

In addition, we will:
* Give urgent attention to the need for acute and sub-acute beds and support staff.
* Ensure every DHB has a standing committee on mental health. Health Workforce We need to accelerate work on addressing the growing demand for health professionals.

We will:
* support an improvement in the pay and working conditions of nurses and other health professionals, in order to ease nationwide recruitment and retention problems.

* Quality of health care

* Recent research showed that 12.9% of admissions to hospital were as a result of 'adverse events'. These events were unintended injury caused by healthcare management.

We will:
* reduce the risks to patient safety and reduce by 50% the number of people who become ill as a result of treatment in the health system.

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