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Review Of HIV/AIDS Services Cautiously Welcomed

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Review Of HIV/AIDS Services Cautiously Welcomed

Wellington, Nov 5 NZPA - A review of existing services for people living with HIV/AIDS by the Ministry of Health has been welcomed as a good start by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.

However, the foundation said a more thorough health needs assessment for affected people was needed on top of the report, written by Dr David Miller.

"Dr Miller's report is a `stock take' of the services available for people living with HIV, as reported by those service providers, in New Zealand today," said foundation executive director Rachael Le Mesurier.

"However, this is not an audit of services, a measure of quality or a comprehensive needs assessment."

The review found that the main lack was in mental health coverage, and recommended a review of benchmarks for minimum mental health service coverage in infectious diseases and sexual health services.

Fees for primary care were also a major obstacle, and there was a lack of co-ordinated national HIV research.

However, people were largely happy with the quality of care.

The report also said there was a need for a national review of guidelines and standards for HIV testing and counselling.

The independent review was commissioned by the ministry in January, to cover services funded by the ministry and by external sources.

The ministry said the review focused on its investment in services for people living with HIV/AIDS, and was not a review of service quality or a compliance audit.

"We support the recommendations in the report and believe that implementation of the recommendations would benefit all New Zealanders living with HIV as well as those working in the field of HIV," Ms Le Mesurier said.

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