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ProCare Welcomes $5.9m In Funding Boost For Māori & Pacific Patients, But More Still Needed

Leading healthcare provider, ProCare, has today welcomed the confirmation of approximately a $5.9m uplift in funding for 19 of its practices following the announcement by the Government of an additional $37 million for some general practices to address the burden of under-funding for Māori and Pacific providers, and practices with high Māori and Pacific populations to enable them to continue delivering high-quality services.

This funding forms part of an announcement last week from the Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall, and Associate Minister of Health, Peeni Henare as part of the Budget 22 initiative known as ‘Primary Care Funding Formula – Equity Adjustments to Capitation’.

Bindi Norwell, Group Chief Executive at ProCare says: “The uplift in funding is welcome news for the 19 eligible practices out of 174 across our network. However, it does not currently help from a workforce and resource perspective or help with meeting the increased complexity and demands of patients.

“Additionally, it does not contribute extra support to the 64% of our Māori and Pacific patients who access their healthcare from practices that are not Māori or Pacific providers. This seems to be limiting patients’ choice and feels as if it’s in conflict with the Te Tiriti o Waitangi principle of whakamaramatanga (options),” points out Norwell.

“We know that the funding gap for primary care nurses is being reviewed with some urgency, but practices need definitive answers on what that might look like now – especially, as we’re looking down the barrel of what is likely to be an extremely busy winter,” concludes Norwell.

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Mihi Blair, Kaiwhakahaere Hauora Māori, Mana Taurite (GM of Māori Health and Equity) at ProCare says: “This boost will help these practices focus on early intervention, faster treatment, and better support for whānau which overall will lead to improved services for this population cohort. Additionally, the fund has flexibility in how to address inequities. It will allow for investment in the cultural competency of the workforce and in improving the patient care experience.”

“We understand Te Whatu Ora is working within the confines of its budget, but we remain frustrated at the lack of progress in both addressing the funding inequities for patient care identified in the Wai 2575 (Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa) inquiry and the inadequacies of the current capitation formula as identified in the Sapere report on capitation,” continues Blair.

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