NHB Newsdesk - June 2012
Recently a delegation of senior government officials from Singapore headed by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Amy Khor, visited New Zealand to exchange views and look at the current and future state of the New Zealand health system.
During their visit, the delegation met with Health Minister Tony Ryall, Kevin Woods Director-General, Dr Murray Horn, Chair of National Health Board, Dr Murray Milner, Chair of National Health IT Board, myself, Graeme Osborne, Brenda Wraight and other senior Ministry staff. They also had the opportunity to visit a number of general practices, primary care organisations, Canterbury District Health Board and PHARMAC.
Amongst the wide range of discussions we covered topics such as how our health system works with a strong focus on primary care, workforce planning, Information Technology (IT) and PHARMAC procurement. The Singaporean health system is similar to ours, so it was interesting to learn we face many of the same health sector challenges.
I was pleased to note that the delegation was impressed by how our IT solutions and innovations that are supporting the new models of primary healthcare are being delivered in the community.
The delegation was particularly interested in the New Zealand model for Integrated Family Health Care centres (IFHCs). During their visit they got to see first-hand how more care is moving into the community. This is a direction the delegation indicated they want their own country to head in.
We also discussed future partnership opportunities between our organisations to explore ways we can share innovations. I believe we will be able to learn a great deal from each other.
The Director of Singapore's Primary and Community Care Division, Dr Ho Han Kwee said, "It was a great experience, and we could not stop talking about what we saw in NZ. Just this morning, in our regular meeting with our Minister, our Director of Medical Services spoke about how PHARMAC procurement principles could potentially be applied to how we procure for orthopaedic prosthesis."
I would like to personally thank the numerous people involved in the delegation's visit, in particular those involved in hosting from the various parts of the Ministry of Health and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
From 1 July 2012 all four District Health Board (DHB) regions are picking up the Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) clinical initiative. We are pleased to be involved with this initiative through the Regional Service Plans (RSPs).
Chaired by Dr Andrew Hamer, a leading cardiologist, the New Zealand Cardiac Network is focusing on the full range of cardiac care as part of the health sector's better diabetes and cardiovascular services health target.
This includes a focus on ACS; ensuring patients presenting with symptoms receive prompt assessment, and those at high risk receive appropriate and fast intervention, such as an angiogram.
Dr Hamer, says the Network's work around improving "ACS assessments ensures more patients will survive acute coronary events and further cardiac damage is minimised. These assessments also have the benefit of reducing subsequent cardiac events.
"The Network has been fast-tracking the roll out of an ACS initiative to DHBs with the help of the National Health Board, through the RSPs. The RSPs contain practical actions helping individual DHBs to work with the other DHBs in their region to improve cardiac services.
The initial ACS pilot programme is being held in the Midland region is an example of this cooperation.
"It involves five DHBs (Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti and Taranaki DHBs) working together to improve ACS assessments and access to angiograms" says Dr Hamer.
From our perspective as a result of the ACS clinical initiatives inclusion in Midland's RSP we are seeing regional clinical networks of clinicians and managers really working together to ensure patients with suspected ACS receive seamless co-ordinated care across the clinical pathway.
Our work with the DHBs involved in the Midland's RSP alongside the work of the New Zealand Cardiac Network and wider Ministry of Health is ultimately helping save the lives of New Zealanders.
Acting Director, Planning and Analysis
We're about to open the doors for the next round of doctors, nurses, midwives - and for the first time - radiation therapists and medical physicists, who are keen to work in hard to staff areas as part of the Voluntary Bonding Scheme.
Join us in encouraging our outstanding graduates to take up this professional challenge - and get paid for it!
Registrations of interest for 2011 graduates open on 15 June 2012, but they must get in quick - numbers are limited.
Director, Health Workforce New Zealand
A shared workforce innovation website is now up and running and we want to hear from health professionals about their insights on key workforce initiatives and innovative practice that's going on in the sector.
We also want to hear your views on what shape you think the future health workforce should take: What do you want to see? How could it work? What new ideas do you have? What kind of relationship do you envisage having with others in the sector? How could different groups work together?
To get involved and get your views heard, visit the workforce innovation website.
Look forward to hearing from you!
By Cathy Taylor, Project Manager
The considerable work that's gone on across the five Midland DHBs to set up and get regional clinical networks underway is beginning to bear fruit.
The decision around the first networks came out of discussions around identifying vulnerable services across the region. Maternity, renal and rural health services were identified in the 2011/12 year with health of older people and radiology being identified as vulnerable in 2012/13.
Elective services and cardiac services were identified as national priority areas in 2011/12 with stroke as a national priority area for 2012/13, making a total of eight clinical networks across the Midland DHBs for 2012/13 in addition to existing networks for cancer services and mental health addictions. Trauma and smokefree are existing regional activities that have been incorporated in to the Regional Services Plan.
Work to set up the new clinical networks or action group includes:
- Setting up clinical networks or action groups - the groups include staff from across the five DHBs and members are nominated by the DHBs, with a mixture of clinical and management roles, including representatives from clinical areas, Planning and Funding, DoNM, Chief Medical Advisors, Maori Health and Chief Operating Officers.
- Identifying a clinical chair for each group
- Developing formal terms of reference
Once the group is established a work programme is developed and agreed, and the work associated with delivering with work programme is facilitated and supported by a regional project manager.
A regional steering group oversees the work of the clinical networks. Project Manager Cathy Taylor works with the chairs of each of the clinical networks and different people across the five DHBs, to make sure the clinical networks are able to progress delivery against their action plans.
The Regional Services Plan is signed off by the Boards of the five DHBs and the Minister, and includes expectations/actions that have to be reported against quarterly, in much the same way as the DHBs report on Annual Plans.
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