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Private sector should also be considered - NZMA

Private sector should also be considered - NZMA

The role of the private sector in the health system is an important consideration for the Government as it examines options for health sector funding, says New Zealand Medical Association Chairman Dr John Adams.

He was responding to the report, Future Health Care Financing and the Public-Private Interface, released by the Health Funds Association which represents the health insurance industry.

"Demand for healthcare is seemingly unlimited, while public funding is certainly not unlimited," Dr Adams said. "New Zealanders have high expectations of their health system. Nobody wants to see a decline in the quality and quantity of publicly-funded services.

"The secondary sector is facing huge deficits, new initiatives are flagged in primary care, and the salaries of health sector employees must remain competitive."

Slightly less than one quarter of all healthcare in New Zealand is not government-funded. It is funded either by private insurance or patients paying themselves.

"The NZMA urges the Government not to forget the private sector when it is making decisions about health sector policy," Dr Adams said. "The public and private sectors have complementary roles to play in ensuring the best possible outcomes for everyone."

ENDS

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