News that a group responsible for developing national guidelines for medical experts is likely to be scrapped is causing huge anxiety within the profession, Labour's Health spokesperson Maryan Street says.
"The Guidelines Group provides expert advice on best practice across all health disciplines to New Zealand doctors. Redundancy notices have been issued to all staff following the non-renewal of several lucrative contracts, including one with the Ministry of Health worth $590,000.
"That means busy professionals will no longer have access to trusted, evidence-based guidelines and clinical recommendations specifically targeted at Kiwis.
"DHBs are not in a position to pick up the cost of this expertise and with no concrete proposal for what might replace the process, doctors are rightly concerned.
"It is another example of the government's misguided obsession with cutting back room functions and applying more resources to frontline services.
"Unfortunately, this move impacts on backroom functions which tangibly assist frontline services in a way that ensure consistent, best practice is available across the country.
"It impairs frontline service delivery; it does not improve it," Maryan Street said.
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