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New Standard For Accident And Medical Clinics

Minister Launches New Standard For Accident And Medical Clinics

Hon Lianne Dalziel Address to launch the Accident and Medical Clinics Standard NZ8151
11am
The Heritage Hotel, Peter Healey Room, 35 Hobson Street, Auckland.

Thank you for the opportunity to address your forum today. As Minister responsible for ACC, I am delighted to be involved with this launch of the new standard for accident and medical clinics.

Accident and medical clinics are crucial for the early treatment of New Zealanders requiring urgent medical care for injury and acute conditions. These clinics have been operating in New Zealand for 13 years, and there are now 65 clinics throughout the country. During this time their contribution to acute primary care services has developed significantly, and they have become an invaluable resource to our communities.

In fact, last year 18% of ACC claimants consulted an Accident and Medical Clinic as their first port of call, following an injury. Because Accident and Medical Clinics play such a key role within our communities, I fully support ACC, the Accident and Medical Practitioners and clinic staff, working in partnership to ensure they meet consistent quality care standards.

It is particularly heartening that this cooperative effort has achieved up-to-date standards that are well aligned with the Government’s current initiatives in health and early intervention in terms of rehabilitation.

The Government’s primary health care strategy, released at the beginning of this year, aims to ensure our communities receive the primary health care services they need.
I can assure you that this Government remains committed to reducing barriers to access for primary care. Some common barriers include where those services are delivered, how much they cost, whether the service is right for the patient and whether people actually know about them.

Following on from this, the Health and Disability Sector (Safety) Bill, currently waiting its report back to Parliament, adopts a strategy to standardise and recognise health accreditation programmes. The strategy also acknowledges that primary health care groupings are taking collective responsibility for the quality of clinical care as they move toward evidence-based practice.

The new Accident and Medical Clinics Standard is designed to comply with this new legislation. At the same time, the development of standards for accident and medical clinics ensures that ACC can enter into contracts with clinics, confident that they will treat injured New Zealanders in the most timely and appropriate way possible.

This Government is also committed to removing financial barriers hindering access to the appropriate treatment for all injuries. The key to achieving this is the development of new and smarter ways of working together. This is best driven by those involved in the health sector.

Altogether, quality standards in keeping with best practice, properly monitored and audited accreditation, and contracts between quality performers in emergency primary care and ACC as funder, converge to serve as a practical path to safe consistent care for injured New Zealanders.

I congratulate ACC and the Accident Medical Practitioners Association for taking a positive leadership role to implement the Government’s strategies in ways that will immediately benefit injured New Zealanders.

This standard provides us all with a clear and practical step forward. Thank you.

Ends

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