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Spend more of health budget making people better

Spend more of health budget on making people better

The Researched Medicines Industry (RMI) is urging the Government to continue its efforts to spend more of the health budget on front line treatment of patients.

RMI Chairman Dr Pippa MacKay says international evidence is stacking up that New Zealand is wasting more money inside its health system than other Western countries.

She was responding today to media coverage of a World Health Organisation report that New Zealand spends more of its GDP on health than many other countries but gets worse health outcomes.

The report highlights that over nine per cent of New Zealand’s gross domestic product is spent on the health system, although it only ranks 15th in the world in terms of quality outcomes. This is poor value for money compared to Australia which spends 8.7 per cent of its GDP and ranks second in the world. Britain spends just over eight per cent on a health system which is ranked seventh in the world.

“The evidence is overwhelming – we’re spending more money on the health system but the outcomes are not as good as other countries,” Dr MacKay says.
“The answer is not cost-cutting, but better use of current spending on productive activity – things that treat patients.”

“It is no coincidence that overall health spending increased over the last decade without gains in productivity while at the same time, spending on medicines fell from 14.4% in 1997 to 9.6% in 2007. If you want better health outcomes, then spend more on medicines that make people better,” she says.


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