A National Government will deliver a health service that is modern, high-quality, evidence-based and available to all, regardless of who you are or where you live, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.
- Increase funding to PHARMAC and create a rare disorder fund worth $20 million over four years and a dedicated cancer drug fund worth $200 million over four years
- Institute an elective surgery commitment that means ever Kiwi that needs elective surgery will have it done within four months of the decision to treat
- Fully fund a primary care social worker-type navigator for every General Practice to increase frontline health services
- Restore and update National Health Targets
- Start a request for proposal process to establish a third graduate entry medical school focused on retaining General Practitioners in rural areas
- Better protect New Zealanders from Covid-19 with a dedicated Border Protection Agency
- Increase funding for the number of cochlear implants from 40 to 100
- Improve cancer management with a new cancer agency, accelerated bowel screening, local radiotherapy units and faster cancer treatment targets
- Require DHBs to annually construct and report against a Māori health strategy to help address inequities
National’s new health initiatives have been costed at $800 million over four years.
“These are just some of the changes National will deliver,” Dr Reti says.
“Even before Covid-19’s emergence we were seeing cracks in our health system. Access to quality healthcare has slid backwards under Labour. Waiting times are increasing and the number of elective surgeries has decreased. Every single health target has gotten worse over their term and Kiwis are missing out on the care they deserve.
“National is focused on ensuring more New Zealanders have access to world-class healthcare regardless of income, background or postcode.
“These are practical solutions that will have a tangible impact on New Zealander’s lives for generations to come.
“We’re committed to ensuring our public health system is delivering for you, your children and your whānau.”
National’s Mental Health policy will be released in coming days.
Strengthening frontline services with primary care navigators
A National Government will increase our frontline primary healthcare services by adding a primary care navigator to every General Practice, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.
“Primary care navigators bring a wide range of skills and will act in a patient-facing role that will boost General Practices’ capacity.
“The United Kingdom has piloted the use of primary care navigators with positive outcomes. National will make sure every General Practice in New Zealand has a government funded primary care navigator.
Once this policy is fully rolled out it will cost $64 million annually.
“General Practitioners are often under significant time pressure which can lead to longer waiting times, and leaves them little time to address anything but their patient’s immediate health concerns,” Dr Reti says.
“Primary care navigators will support General Practitioners by providing the additional time to talk to patients who need help accessing the right services. They will provide counselling, interface with government agencies, follow up appointments and referrals, do home visits and implement primary care health plans collaborated with each general practice.
“National is committed to delivering better healthcare, sooner, and regardless of location. This is another practical solution that will help many New Zealanders.”
Better funding for PHARMAC
A National Government will increase funding for PHARMAC and ensure more Kiwis have access to life-saving medication, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.
National will increase PHARMAC funding by approximately $90 million per year, this is made up of:
- A $50 million per year cancer drug fund
- $20 million over four years for rare disorders
- Increasing PHARMAC funding at the same rate as increases in the health budget, which will add around $35 million per year, increasing each year
“National believes the PHARMAC model is the best way to ensure New Zealanders are accessing much-needed medication.
“When last in Government National increased funding by an average of $24 million per year. These increases led to 800,000 more Kiwis getting improved access to medicine.
“New Zealanders shouldn’t have to pack up their lives and go to other countries for cancer treatment. New Zealanders shouldn’t have to mortgage their houses, set up a Givealittle page or take out massive loans to be able to afford medicines which are funded in other countries.
“National is committing an extra $200 million over four years for cancer medicines. The sad reality is that most New Zealand families will be affected by cancer. Cancer doesn’t discriminate when it chooses its victims and all New Zealanders should have the ability to access potentially life-saving drugs.
“We are also making a concerted effort to address rare disorders, with a special fund that will widen the range of drugs available and ensure that people suffering from rare diseases aren’t overlooked.
“National will continue to review the level of funding PHARMAC requires and make sure it is receiving the funding it needs to deliver for New Zealanders.”
Click here to look in the nzdoctor.co.nz Document Archive for further details of National's health policies announced today.