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ACEM Congratulates Christopher Luxon And NZ Coalition On The Formation Of New Government

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM; the College) congratulates Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and the New Zealand National, NZ First and ACT NZ Coalition on forming a new government, and looks forward to working together on measures to protect restore Aotearoa’s struggling EDs and staff – and get more patients the healthcare they need.

Throughout this year’s election campaign, ACEM has acknowledged the NZ National Party’s pledges on health, including its pledge to implement health system targets. It has also interacted with the new Health Minister, Dr Shane Reti, about the possibility of introducing of an appropriately trained, 24/7 security presence in Aotearoa’s EDs.

While ACEM looks forward to further dialogue on health-related matters with Minister Reti, it is disappointed at the decision to disestablish Te Aka Whai Ora/the Māori Health Authority, as initially specified by the Nationals’ 100-Day Action Plan, and now adopted by the new Coalition.

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The College strongly supports equitable health outcomes and access to culturally safe and responsive health spaces for Māori staff and patients, and believes the Authority’s disestablishment will not support achieving those goals, and hamper the health sector’s efforts to meet Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. ACEM will continue to advocate for safe, equitable and effective healthcare on behalf of Māori staff and patients.

As part of its strategic advocacy in Aotearoa New Zealand, ACEM proposed five immediate fixes ahead of the 2023 national general election that would help relieve the pressures faced by patients and staff in Aotearoa’s EDs.

This included the provision of an appropriately trained and integrated 24/7 security presence at every Aotearoa ED; the collection of accurate ethnicity data; improvements in workforce resourcing; 150 appropriately staffed, high-level residential aged care beds; and the appropriately staffed delivery of mental health services specified in the 2019 mental health budget package.

ACEM’s Aotearoa New Zealand Faculty Chair, Dr Kate Allan said, “Aotearoa’s emergency doctors congratulate Christopher Luxon and the new Coalition government, and look forward to collaborating with them to properly resource and deliver the health system the country needs.”

“Emergency departments and staff have always been there 24/7 for all people who need acute care. But even though the election is now over, they continue to face unprecedented pressure and need Aotearoa’s help to keep providing vital care. New Zealand can’t wait anymore.

“We will support solutions that align with the fixes we provided throughout the election, and invite the new government to work with Aotearoa’s emergency doctors and patients, and other health stakeholders, on implementing these urgently required measures across the nation.”

Background:

ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards. http://www.acem.org.nz/

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