Lack of primary care representation on Health NZ Board not acceptable, says GP College

23 September 2021

Category: Media releases


麻豆视频入口 welcomes the appointment of Distinguished College Fellow Professor Sue Crengle to the M膩ori Health Authority Board.

Professor Crengle was an invaluable Board member for the College from 2014 to 2020, and is a member of Te R艒p奴 Whakakaupapa Urut膩, the National M膩ori Pandemic Group. Her extensive work in general practice, population health and academia will provide grass roots as well as strategic wisdom to the M膩ori Health Authority. This range of skills will be essential for driving change and improving health outcomes.

The transition units states that, "The M膩ori Health Authority will work alongside Health 麻豆视频入口 with a joint role in developing system plans, commissioning for primary and community services, and will co-commission Kaupapa M膩ori services. The M膩ori Health Authority will also work alongside the Ministry of Health in developing strategies and policies that work for M膩ori."

However, 麻豆视频入口 is surprised to see that there is not similar primary and community-based wisdom on the Health NZ Board.

College President, Dr Samantha Murton says, "When the drivers for this reform are to improve health outcomes, integrate the health service and reduce the postcode lottery of health care, one would think that the place where most care is delivered would have some representation on the Board.

"Any discussions involving the health and wellbeing of 麻豆视频入口ers should without a doubt include the group who treat the majority of 麻豆视频入口ers.

Dr Samantha Murton

"The Minister has said this new entity promises to fix the health system, so it works for everyone no matter who they are or where they live, and that鈥檚 what we all want. But if there is no primary care experience, voice or wisdom at the table, how can we be sure that the reform will head in a primary and community direction?" says Dr Murton.

The general practice workforce services around 94 percent of 麻豆视频入口鈥檚 population and are the first point of contact for most healthcare concerns, conducting around 14 million consultations per year. We are the most visible and personal service to the whole of the 麻豆视频入口 population but we have struggled to be visible to the Health service as a whole.

"The very nature of our role as GPs is to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities within our communities.

"The vital role that the GP workforce continues to play in the COVID-19 pandemic is an example of our expertise and essential role in service delivery," says Dr Murton.