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“decisions need to be made over health spending”

“decisions need to be made over health spending”

“The Government and district health boards need to make key decisions over health spending,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Last November the ASMS and DHBs jointly developed a blueprint document which identified that public hospitals were becoming unsustainable because of their specialist workforce crisis. One of the effects was major financial wastage in areas such as preventable errors in patient care, clinical services not being sufficiently clinically led, and hospital bed planning.” [The blueprint, Securing a Sustainable Senior Medical and Dental Workforce in New Zealand: the Business Case, can be downloaded from]

“Our blueprint recommended a phased investment in retaining the specialists we train instead of exporting them to other countries. By making this investment public hospitals would be able to make considerable savings that over time would easily compensate for this investment.”

“Unfortunately there has been too much dithering over implementation of this blueprint. If it is not implemented then the only solution will be to increase health spending by greater amounts than now, as, for example, recommended yesterday by Dunedin senior doctors.

“Public hospitals are struggling to maintain safe, quality and accessible services because of hospital specialist shortages. There are two choices – solve the shortage by investing in recruitment and retention or significantly increase public hospital funding.”

“The hospital specialist crisis will be discussed at two key meetings this week – our branch representatives meeting tomorrow and our National Executive the next day,” concluded Mr Powell.


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