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Ryall: Moving Resources To The Health Frontline

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tony Ryall
Tony Ryall

27 January 2009 - Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced the membership of a Ministerial Group to advise on improving the quality and performance of the public health system.

The Group is focussed on prompt action, and will complete its work and disband in six months.

Mr Ryall said, "The Group will be reviewing expenditure to improve spending quality and services to patients.

The Minister made the commitment, "Every dollar will be reinvested back into health."

"The Group will also plan ways to give doctors and nurses more say in the health system."

"This is about a long overdue improvement of frontline services. New Zealanders are looking for significant improvements in the public health system. They want less bureaucracy and waste, and patients treated sooner and better. National made a commitment to move health resources into the frontline, and this is one of the first steps on the way."

The Group is part of National's policy to cut bureaucracy and give doctors and nurses more say. It is the first taskforce under the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Act Party, with the Terms of Reference agreed by both parties.

In the Terms of Reference, the Group is charged with: Assisting the Minister and Ministry by providing advice on further progressing the Government's priorities around clinical leadership, productivity and quality patient services; Reviewing the existing systems for infrastructure and prioritisation, and advise improvements; Helping meet serious Vote Health financial challenges by providing a fresh examination of health sector spending, with a view to identifying low priority/poor quality spending that can be moved to improve frontline health services.

Mr Ryall says, "I expect some existing programmes, committees and strategies will disappear so funds can be reinvested back into improving patient services that are under pressure, and supporting our frontline staff."

The Ministerial Group is made up of: Dr Murray Horn, Chair, former NZ Managing Director ANZ Bank, former Secretary to The Treasury Stephen McKernan, Director-General of Health Dr Virginia Hope, public health physician, former Medical Officer of Health in Auckland, former Auckland DHB elected member and current Capital and Coast DHB elected member Dr Tom Marshall, General Practitioner, Past chair of ProCare, and former President of NZMA Dr Patricia (Pim) Allen, Chief Medical Officer Southland DHB Chai Chuah, CEO Hutt Valley DHB Hayden Wano, CEO Hauora Taranaki PHO, former Chair Taranaki DHB Sally Webb, Chair Kawerau PHO, former public health nurse, former member of Health Funding Authority.

"The Government has made it clear that we will continue the growth in health spending set out by the previous government, including the extra annual allocation of $750 million. This Ministerial Group is about improving frontline health services not reducing the health budget," said Mr Ryall.

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