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Proof Of Budget Will Be In “Front-Line Services”

Proof Of The Budget Will Be In Delivery Of “Front-Line Services”

Vulnerable community-based healthcare services represented by national network Health Care Aotearoa are hopeful that funding for primary health in this year’s Budget will find its way to front-line services.

“Based on a recent survey of our members we know that many are struggling after cuts to their funding either from a national PHO level or under local funding arrangements administered by District Health Board,” said Rowena Gotty, of Health Care Aotearoa.

“We raised this same concern immediately after our national hui in April. We pointed out then that because our members have no fat in the system to trim, such as cutting costs in bureaucracy or back room functions, they were in danger of being squeezed out of existence.”

“We are encouraged that Health Minister Tony Ryall and Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia have obviously done their best to see that funding for purchasing primary health care services is at least maintained at a stable level. We are also encouraged by new policy initiatives such as the Maori Innovations Fund,” said Rowena Gotty.

“However we have still not been fully assured and are still not fully confident that the future of all of our members delivering frontline services is being factored into the way that funding will or should be allocated. At this stage the structures through which that will happen are still unclear and while that remains the case we will continue to argue the case for full support of innovative community-driven and governed primary health care services.”

“We expect to gain more assurances about the future of our members at the frontline of primary health over the next two months. Coincidentally this will occur during winter, a time of year when many of the people our members work with will be particularly exposed to the pressures of ill health and potentially higher costs of health services given the rise in GST.”

“Health Care Aotearoa will be highlighting issues that affect the viability of our members and the impacts on the people they work with as and when they arise.”

ENDS

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