27 January 2009

The New Zealand Medical Association has warmly welcomed the establishment, announced today, of a Ministerial Group to advise on improving the quality and performance of the public health system.

"Health Minister Tony Ryall has shown that he is taking his responsibilities seriously, and understands the importance of having top advisors," said NZMA Chair Dr Peter Foley.

"The NZMA will work with this Group where it can, providing input and support, to help it achieve its aims. It is absolutely essential that health funding be utilised to the maximum effect. We cannot afford to waste our scarce resources. "

The NZMA supports the stated aims of cutting bureaucracy and giving doctors and nurses more say in the health system.

"We are pleased to see that the group is focussed on prompt action, as action is needed to make progress in the health sector."

Dr Foley said the group's membership was a good mix of clinicians and managers with extensive health experience.