Election 2014 - Party Policies - Health

Election 2014 - Party Policies - Health

Health

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  • ACT believes that the government should state the service levels that it will provide in a transparent way and introduce greater funding contestability wherever possible in order that these levels are met more efficiently.  
  • Where they have the ability to pay, consumers should be required to make co-payments in order to ration the use of care. (more here)

  • Reorient health service priorities to give much greater emphasis to improving health and preventing illness, through public health services, and treating illness in community-based primary care
  • Place a particular emphasis on preventing and treating long term (chronic) conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, cancer and depression.
  • Support the independence of PHARMAC and ensure that it can prioritise public benefit over restrictive trade obligations.
  • Reduce patient demand for expensive procedures by facilitating a community dialogue over health care priorities. This should include a discussion of how much people are willing to spend for better health care.
  • Prioritise those population groups with the lowest health status, such as Maori, Pasifika, refugee and migrant, LGBT communities, people with low socio-economic status and people with disabilities. (more here)

  • Increased funding to maintain and improve health services.
  • Quality care for older New Zealanders with fair pay for aged care workers.
  • A nationwide bowel cancer screening programme, preventing up to 180 deaths a year.
  • A 10-year plan to make dental care affordable for everyone, starting with free care for pregnant women. (more here)

  • Reduce accessibility to tobacco products and ban tobacco advertising, with a goal to ban the importation, manufacture and sale of tobacco in New Zealand.  In the medium term cigarettes would be provided by pharmacies on prescription.
  • Introduce restrictions on the advertising of unhealthy kai, including that of fast food chains, to children and young people, and to more strongly regulate what goes into processed foods and beverages.
  • Remove GST from all food (and everything else), but introduce a tax on fast foods and soft drinks.
  • Introduce free after-hours medical care for children under 16 years and for senior citizens.
  • Levy private health providers to contribute to the public health system where they transfer patients to maintain private profitability. (more here)

  • Prioritise oral health including instigating an annual oral health check for low income families.
  • Continue to address the increases in diseases of poverty such as rheumatic fever and meningitis.
  • Bariatric surgery for at least 1000 more people each year to address obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Investigate a co-management model for Māori statutory representatives on DHBs to increase their influence. New DHB representatives to be appointed by Minister responsible for Māori Health.
  • Establish a health workforce project for pay parity to retain Māori nurses in iwi providers. (more here)

  • Invest $50 million extra over three years to help reduce pain and increase prevention by:
  1. Delivering an extra 2250 hip, knee and other orthopaedic operations over the next term in addition to the usual increases in elective surgery.
  2. Provide more than 1500 extra general elective surgeries, such as hernia, gallstone and vein conditions.
  3. Invest $6 million to create primary case-based early intervention teams.
  • Speed up cancer treatment, with a new target that 90 per cent of patients will receive their first treatment within 62 days of being referred by their GP. This is the world gold standard.
  • Increase hospice funding by $20 million a year, supporting people as they approach the end of their lives while caring for their family and whanau. (more here)

  • Provide three free health checks a year for SuperGold Card holders.
  • Scrap Fringe Benefit Tax on employer paid health insurance.
  • Review the costs of gaining initial medical qualifications, including exploring the option of a ‘bonding’ system for medical students who are willing to trade off student loan abatements for staying in New Zealand.
  • Extend New Zealand First’s initiative (1997) of free doctors visits and prescriptions to include all primary school children, and after hours and weekends.
  • Use a range of measures to ensure the adequate recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural areas including the consideration of student loan abatements, fees reductions, scholarships and bonding schemes, amending the definition of ‘rural’ in relation to rural GP premiums and lifting the levels of primary health care premiums. (more here)

  • Retain the current basic structure of the health system, to provide stability for health professionals and consumers and to give it an opportunity to deliver.
  • Continue to reduce waiting lists for elective surgery for those who are likely to wait longer than 6 months by requiring DHBs to contract out work to Private Hospitals.
  • Extend Mobile Surgical Services and continue the rollout of Mobile dental clinics.
  • Review the administrative and policy compliance burden facing hospitals and GPs to free up resources currently dedicated to management, which should be directed towards actually making people better.
  • Require greater collaboration between DHBs to reduce management and operational costs particularly in the supply of goods and services, with the view to amalgamating some boards in the future if efficiency goals are not achieved. (more here)

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The  Labour Party has announced a several health policies: nationwide bowel cancer screening programme, Best start for children,  Investing in Canterbury's Health and its broad platform of supporting and funding a universal health system   http://campaign.labour.org.nz\health_care_for_all  See https://labour.org.nz\policies for details of released policies