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Huge interest in Health Innovation Awards

Huge interest in Health Innovation Awards

INNOVATION is alive and well in the New Zealand health sector judging by the number of applications to the inaugural New Zealand Health Innovation Awards.

In total 190 applications have been received for the Awards - a joint ACC/Ministry of Health initiative - which celebrates the outstanding efforts dedicated health providers make to New Zealanders' treatment, care and recovery.

"We're absolutely thrilled with the response and all applications are of a high calibre," said Ministry of Health spokesperson Colin Feek, Deputy Director-General Clinical Services.

A team of evaluators will now select the finalists who will be invited to submit a more detailed application. The evaluator teams and an independent panel of judges will then assess the final application forms, and may decide to make site visits to help them scrutinise the entries.

"The quality and diversity of the innovations entered for the Awards shows an impressive commitment by health professionals to continually improve the treatment, care and recovery of New Zealanders," said Dr David Rankin, the General Manager of ACC Healthwise.

Applications came from towns and cities throughout New Zealand, and innovations from individuals, groups and organisations stretched across the health sector including mental health, psychotherapy, physiotherapy, optometry and dental.

The evaluators will look for innovations that show evidence of being: * Researched and analysed to determine feasibility * Effectively led * Well-planned and implemented * Able to be managed effectively * Evaluated and improved to meet stakeholder needs * Successful and sustainable

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Besides acknowledging and rewarding the achievements of health innovators, a key aim of the Awards is to promote the sharing of innovative products, services and processes.

The winner of each category (individual, group and organisation) will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $8000 and will be eligible to win the Supreme Award of $15,000. A popular choice award of $5000 will also be presented.

Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa on 23 April 2003.

"This ceremony should be a showcase of New Zealand innovation in the Health Sector, " Dr Rankin said. "It is through Kiwi ingenuity that we can improve health service and make the limited dollars stretch that bit further."

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