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Funding Must Be Used For Population Health Gains

Extra Government Funding Must Be Used For Population Health Gains

The $175 million extra health funding announced by the Government yesterday must be used to achieve health gains for New Zealanders, the Health Funding Authority’s chief executive Sally Wilkinson said today.

Ms Wilkinson said the extra funding was very welcome and would help the Health Funding Authority bed in the improvements that had been made in the last year. “I think it is important, though, that the health sector acknowledges that this is money to purchase extra services aimed at achieving improved health for New Zealanders,” she said. “It is very easy for money to be soaked up in the health system without any appreciable gain.”

Ms Wilkinson said the Health Funding Authority was now in a much better position to be able to fund and monitor health initiatives on a national scale. “The last year has seen a lot of emphasis on initiatives in child health, Maori health, mental health and community health, as well as increased elective surgery,” she said. “This extra money will allow us to keep up the momentum.”

The HFA, as the national funder has, in its first year of existence, been working to implement coherent national strategies to deal with these issues, as well as cope with a growing and aging population and the ability to undertake more complex treatments through the development of better technology.
“All health expenditure is forever having to stretch further and further,” she said.
One of the key factors in achieving better health for New Zealanders was getting better collaboration between hospitals and primary health professionals, including GPs, she said.

“We are encouraging better integration of services because that is extremely important in delivering better health care to New Zealanders and at the same time in relieving pressure on hospitals. If people’s needs are picked up and met early, they are less likely to become acutely ill and require hospital care” she said.
Ends

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