The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand welcomes the announcement by Health Minister Chris Hipkins that “sweeping reforms of the health sector will go ahead”, with the number of DHBs to be dramatically reduced.
The Society believes the biggest potential to improve health outcomes for New Zealanders is by improvements in the way primary and community services are organised.
The Society agrees with the recommendation in the Health and Disability System Review that DHB funding for tier 1 (primary/community) services should be ringfenced to ensure it is not diverted to other services.
“Improving access to healthcare services in the community is the first and most important step to preventing patients ending up in hospital later on,” says Society president Ian McMichael.
According to the Society greater utilisation of the pharmacy workforce will be required to improve access to primary healthcare in New Zealand.
“The Society continues to work with policy and funding decision makers to change our health system so as to improve access and equity,” states McMichael.