INDEPENDENT NEWS

Giving The Power Back To Patients

Published: Tue 2 Nov 1999 11:12 AM
ACT New Zealand today launched its Health Policy saying it’s time to give the power back to patients.
ACT Health Spokesman Hon Ken Shirley said that ACT's key objective in health is to give New Zealanders who need health care more choice and to get the public and private sectors working together to provide the best health care for all New Zealanders.
"Around 65% of non urgent surgery in New Zealand is now carried out by the private sector, without waiting lists.
"In the last financial year 86% of the 26, 730 elective surgical services funded by ACC were carried out in the private sector.
"In Christchurch the "Eldercare" project has co-ordinated the services of both public and private hospitals together with GPs, nurse practitioners and volunteer community groups to better meet the health needs of the elderly particularly during the winter months. We should all applaud and encourage these collaborative projects that ensure the best patient care.
"In Hawkes Bay this year between June and September 300 children had ENT operations in the private Royston facility funded by the HFA because the public hospital could not manage the task. No waiting, no delays, top service at the best value for taxpayers. What is wrong with children who have urgent health needs getting efficient, quality care? The Labour Party must front up and explain why under their health policy these operations would not get HFA funding.
"Hawkes Bay's Royston Hospital is now also working co-operatively with local GPs to break down the artificial barrier between primary and secondary health care. Such practices can ensure earlier intervention, thereby reducing the demand for more expensive hospitalisation. The patients benefit, the healthcare provider benefits and the taxpayer benefits.
"A joint venture between the public and private provision of state funded urological operations in Tauranga (the Venturo Project) has eliminated a waiting time that previously had stretched to three and a half years. Today, nobody waits. The orthopaedic surgeons are now instigating a similar scheme.
"Similar examples through out the country are now numerous. These examples of better health care for New Zealanders are models for the rest of the country. We must throw off the baggage of the past. The hang ups and senseless rhetoric between public and private provision. Both Labour and the Alliance are locked in a time warp, ACT is talking today about healthcare for the future," said Hon Ken Shirley.
ENDS

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