INDEPENDENT NEWS

2021 Wellbeing Budget Start Of A Long Road For Primary Care

Published: Thu 20 May 2021 04:58 PM
General Practice New Zealand (GPNZ) has welcomed the much needed focus on health in this year’s Budget.
GPNZ Chair and Karori GP, Dr Jeff Lowe said: ‘We all know how important it is to invest in the future of our health services, and in wider social support, housing, and initiatives that will bring long term benefit to people’s health. Today is a good start.’
The largest uplift in health funding once again goes to DHBs, but with the health reforms getting underway, Dr Lowe expects to see investment in future Budgets increasingly shift towards primary and community services.
Dr Lowe said: ‘The $46.65m uplift to cover cost pressures in primary care in each of the next four years is an improvement on recent Budgets, but we still have a long way to go to ensure affordable access to general practice for our most vulnerable communities.
‘We expect that the long awaited review of the funding model that is now underway will result in a much more equitable system that will prevent cost being a barrier to care for people who need it most.’
The 2021 Wellbeing Budget includes funding of $172.8 over the next four years to develop ‘prototypes’ for new locality networks, and to develop hauora commissioning models as part of the health reforms.
‘This is important investment and we expect to see rapid progress in developing these new relationships and services that will be driven by and tailored to local populations. There are already innovative examples of integrated primary and community services in parts of the country that we can build on to ensure these health reforms deliver the improvements in wellbeing our people need.’

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