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‘One System’ Planned Care Offers Real Benefit For Patients

General Practice New Zealand (GPNZ) has welcomed today’s announcement that a national taskforce will focus on reducing waiting lists and share innovations to speed up access to planned care

GPNZ Chair Dr Jeff Lowe, who is a member of the planned care taskforce said: ‘I’m delighted to be a part of this important initiative that will not only reduce waiting times for patients, but will be a major step towards a single integrated system.

‘This initiative will be am important part in our COVID recovery but also in removing the current postcode lottery, where too often the care received depends on where you are and who you are. it will enable us to work across geographical and professional boundaries, so that care is provided by where is best and who is best.’

The taskforce will look at where capacity is in in the system, and where successful local initiatives that speed up access can be scaled.

Dr Lowe, a GP In Karori, said that primary care could and should be the right place for a wide range of care that would previously have been managed by secondary specialists. General practice teams have the clinical expertise and the holistic knowledge of patients and whānau to provide a broader range of high quality services and procedures close to people’s homes.

However, Dr Lowe said that shifts in care need to be agreed, planned and funded, with the appopriate support and upskilling of the workforce, as well as transparency for the patient about what is publicly funded, and where they can expect to access it. it will also require consistent care pathways, access criteria and sharing of data and information, he said.

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