14 May 2012

Extra Government funding over the next four years for more elective operations and scans, and improved cancer services, to deliver better frontline services for patients is welcomed by the NZMA.

The increased funding will go towards further reducing waiting times for cancer treatment and operations.

“It is particularly pleasing to see the Government’s commitment to improve health services in a time of financial constraint. It is encouraging to see that funding includes an investment in IT systems to facilitate faster access to diagnostic tests to determine if patients need an operation or treatment. The national patient register for those treated for heart conditions is also a positive in terms of information gathering and it is good to see that this key recommendation from the NZ Cardiac Network is being implemented,” says NZMA Chair Dr Paul Ockelford.

The Government has also announced that prescription charges are going up from $3 to $5 from 1 January 2013.

“While there is an increase, it is relatively small and is unlikely to be a barrier for most. It is important to note that families with higher health needs will still have access to free prescriptions after the first 20 items have been dispensed.”

“These savings will enable increased spending in other frontline health services.”